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About the Library

Durham County Library was the first free, tax-supported library in North Carolina.


The mission of Durham County Library is to encourage Discovery, connect the Community and lead in Literacy.

Library Facts FY 2018

  • Circulation: 2,624,954
  • Borrowers: 224,385
  • Adult Programs: 1,650
    • Attendees: 18,509
  • Teen Programs: 746
    • Attendees: 10,756
  • Children’s Programs: 3,396
    • Attendees: 93,835
  • Public Computer Sessions: 219,539

Strategic Plan

In 2014, Durham County Library completed the process of developing a new Strategic Plan to help us achieve our vision of creating a community of lifelong learners. The plan contains five overarching goals to guide the library through 2017: fostering innovation; empowering staff; maximizing impact and reach of programs, services and collections; achieving service excellence; and creating a welcoming and inspiring library environment.

Download the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan (PDF)

The library is currently developing a new strategic plan to pick up where the 2014-2017 plan left off. The new plan will be available for download once it’s completed.


Durham recorded many significant firsts in respect to library movements in other North Carolina cities: the first tax-supported public library, the first professional librarian, and the first bookmobile. Durham also boasted the second library founded for African Americans in the state. Read more >>>