The first of seven libraries funded by Andrew Carnegie that was designed by architect J R Rhind for Glasgow Corporation. Rhind’s designs had been selected in open competition.
At the formal opening ceremony in March 1905 , the speaker declared that the building provided further evidence that Glasgow was “a city with foundations and with a growing perception of what constitutes true civic greatness“.
A sculptured group of a woman reading to her children adorns the external facade of the building. This sculpture is attributed to William Kellock Brown, who worked with Rhind on the other libraries. At one time a decorative panel flanked by crouching figures was situated above the main entrance. This mysteriously disappeared some years ago and efforts are currently underway to locate it.
The glazed dome is a key feature of the building, and along with the high arched windows ensures that the building receives plenty of natural light. Over the years a number of changes have been made to the layout of the library to accommodate the changing needs of the community, e.g. the current adult lending dept. was the original reading room and there are no longer separate sections for “boys and girls”. Every effort though has been made to maintain the key architectural features of Rhind’s original design.
A Real Learning Centre has been established, and local people can attend computing courses and have free access to the Internet. Regular events are organised by library staff for all sections of the community.