Carnegie Public Library

The Victoria Memorial Library opened its doors and charged 1p from everyone who entered. The library received a yearly government grant of 75 pounds sterling. It was found that the library was too small, and the Governor at the time, Andrew Bell wrote to Andrew Carnegie, retired industrialist turned philanthropist for $7500 for the construction of a larger building. Andrew Carnegie agreed to fund the construction of the building on the condition that the government provided a site as well as ten per cent of what was given for annual maintenance and books.

In April 1905, the Legislative Council passed a resolution accepting Carnegie’s offer and his terms. One year later in April 1906, the Carnegie Library (as it was called) was completed. In September of that same year, the library was transferred to the new building, and the Victoria Memorial Library was taken over as the Victoria Memorial Museum.

The Carnegie Library was formally opened to the public as a subscription library from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Although the words “Free Library” were inscribed on the building, the library was free only to the extent that anyone could come in to use the reading room. But only subscribers had borrowing privileges. At that time, the collection consisted mainly of newspapers and periodicals. In 1940, with the implementation of a project aimed at setting up a regional library, Dominica received books for setting up a demonstration library. As a result, for a time Dominicans could borrow books free. In 1954 Government took over the administration of the library under the Public Library Act No. 11 of 1954.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: