Cawker City first had a library soon after its incorporation, when a group of the town's professional men established a lending collection in the office of the local physician. Within ten years they requested that the women of Cawker City form a Library Club to provide library service to residents of this Mitchell County town.

In 1884, through the generosity of Dr. G.W. Chapman, a building of native limestone was erected, and this one-room structure served as the library for eighty-six years. Residents of Cawker City voted to maintain the library as a public library in the 1950's, and in 1970 the city council included space for the library in the renovated city building at the center of town, thus freeing the original stone building for use as a city museum. The present facilities include the main holdings on the first floor, and the second floor includes space for YA section, Kansas Section and Genealogy.
The Cawker City Public Library has a history of loving service by volunteers, and many activities are provided with assistance of board members and patrons. The Cawker City Library provides many services: free public access computers, magazines, Talking Books, interlibrary loans, movies on VHS and DVD's, microfilm reader/printer, Kansas Collection, Rotating Book Collection, local history, new books, Summer Library Program, and HomeworkKansas. The library yearly participates in the Twine-A-Thon parade.
A unique feature of the Cawker City Public Library is that it serves as headquarters for the North Central Kansas Genealogical Society.

As a member of CKLS from its organization, Cawker City has received many benefits to improve service to its patrons, and enjoys particularly the interlibrary loan and new books services. The staff and board members regularly participate in CKLS workshops.