The History of the Public Library
How has the library evolved over the past 126 years?
Over a century has passed since a group of local residents established a public library. Throughout the past 126 years the library has been of growing importance to the community, as a source of information and leisure. How the library has adapted over the years, especially considering the rapid evolvment of society, is a very interesting story.
A Brief Timeline
1876 – Opening of the original public library.
1879 – The borough council takes control.
1885 – Building destroyed by fire.
1886 – Council withdraws support.
1890 – Collection in care of Palmerston North Working Men's Club.
1894 – Collection in care of Volunteer Fire Brigade.
1900 – Council opens second 'reading room' and lending library.
1905 – Library swaps locations with the borough council.
1906 – 'Crawling to Carnegie' affair.
1929 – Library moves to corner of Fitzherbert Avenue and the Square.
1938 – Subscription system abolished.
1965 – Library moves to corner of Main St and the Square.
1967 – Mobile library established.
1996 – Move to Central Library building on the Square.
Home – A brief introduction and explanation with a timeline.
The 'reading room' – The beginning for the Palmerston North Public Library, from 1876.
The 20th century – The borough council's establishment of a new reading room and library.
Carnegie and considerable changes – A difficult period and significant changes.
From the 60's to today – Continual growth and two location changes.
A pictorial narrative – Photographs of the six buildings the library has occupied from 1876 to 1996.
Sources – A list of sources used for information, with my email address if you have any queries.