Carnegie Library Association CIO

The Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Library is a grade II listed Edwardian building, purpose-built as a public library.

The Carnegie Library was built in 1905 and was the first library in the world to allow the public free access to the bookcases to browse the stock. Endowed by Andrew Carnegie, it is a fine example of Edwardian civic architecture and was opened to local residents in July 1906. Until April 2016 it operated as a library under the control of Lambeth Council.

The original design of Carnegie Library, with its superb windows, panels and glass dome affording plenty of natural internal light, combined with the multiple spaces and rooms have always created a welcoming atmosphere intended to inspire reading, learning and cultural activities, as well as a place for social and community interaction.

Unfortunately, in April 2016 the library was closed by Lambeth Council. Considerable community opposition to the closure was expressed. The Council now plans to convert most of the building into a gym, run by Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL). We are bidding to take over management of the building, in order to restore as far as possible, the library and community services that it housed.