The Dunfermline Carnegie Public Library was the first Carnegie Library, built in Andrew Carnegie’s hometown. It opened to the public on August 29, 1883 and is built in the Tudor style. The most recent addition to the building was added in 1992. This allowed them to add rooms for the children’s collection, meeting rooms, and the local history collection. They host craft events and rhyme time sessions for children along with story time for toddlers. In conjunction with the Edinburgh Central Library, they do a summer reading program. This year they had 139 children enrolled so far, up from 85 last year.
There are eight public access computers on the ground floor. The library collection includes approximately 59,700 volumes. They also have space for regular exhibitions to encourage people, particularly children to visit the library. The current exhibition is of Egyptian artifact replicas. They also have a rare book collection, and their collection includes Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica from 1471 and Shakespeare’s Second Folio from 1632.
I found this to be a very impressive public library for its location in a rather small town. Their collection of rare books was of particular interest to me, and I found their efforts at creating exhibitions for the sake of drawing in members of the community to be a great idea. The exhibition of Egyptian artifact replicas seemed a great way to interest children in the library and a wonderful way for them to gain exposure to history and culture when they live outside of a major metropolitan area. They are obviously making great efforts to encourage literacy among children in the community as well with their story times and rhyme times.
I was also impressed with the local history collection and the map collection. It is amazing how much of the history of a place resides in the local public library. The Dunfermline library seems to be making impressive efforts toward making the history of the area available to its community.