A Carnegie Jewel – West Calder Public Library

The first Carnegie library in the old county of Midlothian opened at West Calder in November 1904. With a ceremonial golden key, the former British Prime Minister, Lord Rosebery, unlocked the door to a world of free books. The many invited guests – members of the parish and county councils, school board members, library contractors and representatives of the local community eagerly entered, itching to see and marvel at their finished library. After hearing a Dedicatory Prayer by a local minister, the guests looked on as Lord Rosebery presented a number to the librarian for a book – thereafter declaring the library open. Refreshments of tea, cake and wine in the new library rooms followed and that evening, the whole community celebrated at a Ball in the Polytechnic Hall.

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