A Great Community Deserves a Great Library!

For over a century, this historic building has helped educate generations of Aikenites. Originally, The Aiken Institute was an elementary and high school. Then, over 30 years ago, part of the building underwent renovation to become the Aiken County Public Library.

Moving forward, in 2019, The Friends of the Aiken County Public Library partnered with  the Aiken County Government to fund the first major improvement to the library since 1990. This multi-million-dollar renovation combined community input with the latest trends in library design to create a facility that can educate all Aiken citizens in innovative and exciting ways.

Vibrant, culturally conscious communities like Aiken know that to thrive and attract new businesses and families, modern libraries are a necessity, not a luxury. They are also a matter of great civic pride. We are proud that Aiken’s renovated library meets every criteria for an inviting, intellectually-stimulating, up-to-date library — and we invite you to visit and enjoy it regularly.

Renovation Results

The Friends and Aiken County created a unique multi-million dollar private/public sector partnership to fund the Aiken public library’s first major renovation in 30 years. It will enhance the experience of more than 150,000 library users each year.

For every two dollars Aiken County provided, the Friends provided one dollar. The renovation:

  • Made the front entrance more accessible with new steps with a more gradual ascent
  • Installed an ADA compliant elevator in the front
  • Provided a quiet, reading area with new, comfortable seating
  • Enhanced the children’s and teens’ areas with better space, educational materials, and technology
  • Created a smaller, more efficient circulation desk
  • Reconfigured the second floor to provide more reading and study room space, including a conference room