Library Director: Katie Hill Earnhart, ext. 111, katie@capelibrary.org
Administrative Assistant: Linda Bailiff, ext. 112, linda@capelibrary.org

Adult Services

Coordinator: Kayla Thompson, ext. 106, kayla@capelibrary.org
Chris, Augusta, Araceli, Sophie

Youth Services

Coordinator: Sharon Anderson, ext. 110, sharon@capelibrary.org
Renee, Alli, Ryan


Coordinator: Whitney Burton, ext. 130, whitney@capelibrary.org

Technology Services

Coordinator: Barrett Kinsey, ext. 118, barrett@capelibrary.org

Technical Services


User Services

Supervisor: Jean Martin, ext. 101, jean@capelibrary.org
Assistant Supervisor: Kelley, ext. 101
Assistant Supervisor: Bonnie, ext. 101
Wendy, Amy, James, Keana

Library Board

The Cape Girardeau Public Library Board of Trustees consists of nine community members who are appointed by the Mayor for three-year terms.  Each Trustee will serve a three-year term unless they are filling an unexpired term (UT). Members are eligible to be appointed for a total of three consecutive full terms. The Board of Trustees is a policymaking board and is fiscally responsible for how the library’s funds are spent. With a few exceptions, the Board meets every month on the 1st Thursday at 7:00 am in the Penzel Conference Room at the library. The public is invited to attend all meetings of the Board of Trustees except those designated as an executive (closed) session. Members of the public are welcome to address comments to the Board as set forth here. For problems or inquiries, the library board may be contacted at board@capelibrary.org. Anyone interested in serving on the Library’s Board of Trustees may fill out an application at City Hall.

Members, 2021-2022

Date Appointed Date Reappointed Term Expires
John McGowan, President August 6, 2012 (UT) 6/16/14; 06/19/17; 6/15/20 June 30, 2023*
Eric “Red” Redinger, Vice President June 18, 2018 6/21/21 June 30, 2024
John Voss, Treasurer November 7, 2016 (UT) 6/17/19; 6/20/22 June 30, 2025
Dave Diveley, Secretary December 7, 2015 (UT) 7/05/16; 6/17/19; 6/20/22 June 30, 2025
Stacy Dohogne Lane, Member June 15, 2015 6/18/18; 6/21/21 June 30, 2024
Amy Trueblood, Member March 3, 2014 (UT) 6/16/14; 6/19/17; 6/15/20 June 30, 2023*
Jessica Hill, Member January 10, 2022 (UT) June 30, 2024
Rekha Patterson, Member July 24, 2017 6/15/20 June 30, 2023
Crystal Cerny, Member June 20, 2022 June 30, 2025


*Denotes final term

Public Records

See our 2019-2022 strategic plan here.
See our bylaws here.
See our previous meeting minutes here.
See our audit reports here: 2020-20212019-2020, 2018-2019, 2017-2018, 2016-2017, 2015-2016

Notice of Public Hearing

Library History

In 1916, the Women’s Council of Clubs was organized, representing 18 women’s clubs in Cape Girardeau. At the first regular meeting of the council, member clubs were asked to consider the city’s greatest need. The answer was almost unanimous: a public library.

Communication with the Carnegie Foundation was started at once and the foundation pledged to give $20,000 for a library building. Soon after the project was initiated, however, World War I began and the effort was discontinued. It was resurrected by the women’s council again in February, 1921. This time the Carnegie group was asked to supply $30,000, the increase coming from higher construction costs. Carnegie agreed to give $25,000 to the project, if the local organization would raise $5,000. Another condition was that the city would have to support and maintain the library through a special tax. The women accepted the offer and secured the $5,000 with additional funds pledged. The Carnegie Library was built in Common Pleas Courthouse Park. It formally opened on June 15, 1922, with a collection of 3,000 books.

According to Carnegie.org, Andrew Carnegie’s philanthropy was responsible for the founding of 2,509 libraries in the late 19th and early 20th centuries throughout the English-speaking world, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Of these libraries, 1,679 of them were built in the United States. Carnegie spent over $55 million of his wealth on libraries alone, and he is often referred to as the “Patron Saint of Libraries.” In Missouri, 33 Carnegie libraries were built. The Cape Girardeau Public Library was one of the last in the state.

In 1980, a new public library was opened at 711 North Clark St. and the old facility was converted into government office space. In February 2007, voters of the Municipal Library District of Cape Girardeau voted for a $.15 tax increase to build and equip a new state-of-the-art Destination Library. The new library was designed by The Clark Enersen Partners of Lincoln, Nebraska, and was constructed by Kiefner Brothers Construction Company. The doors to the new facility were opened on May 16, 2009.

Fred Lynch, “Carnegie Library,” seMissourian.com (Southeast Missourian, December 17, 2012), https://www.semissourian.com/blogs/flynch/entry/50282.

The River Theme

The architecture of the new library took its inspiration from the Mississippi River. At the Library’s Grand opening, Architect Lowell Berg of Clark Enersen Partners offered a succinct description of the river elements that may be found in the building.

“On the outside of the building, there are three different brick colors…a color stratification similar to the banks of the Mississippi. The outside facades of the building include bands of limestone…representing high water marks from history’s many flood events. The flaring out at the high roofs are evocative of the flared smokestacks of the paddlewheel steamships that used to travel the river. As you look at the window walls, the blue glass in the middle is the river, the higher yellow glass, the sun. The river also metaphorically flows through the building. In the main circulation spine traveling west, you will see it in the wall behind the service counter, and in the carpet that is visually active, like the sun reflecting off moving water. Or, in the blue glass tile that climbs up the bottom of the walls as if wakes are hitting the bank; a bank that is represented by limestone above the tiles. On top of the limestone bank, bamboo paneling is the forest, vertical and sepia like the trunks of trees. Above the river is a cloud ceiling, and at night, the layout of the can lights in the cloud accurately represent the constellations.”

Cape Girardeau Public Library

Our mission is to be the community's first choice for information gathering experiences through social interaction, programming, technology and the written word for all ages. Come visit us today and follow us on Facebook to stay in the know.

lab image