As early as 1903 an application was made to Carnegie, for money to build the library. However, he would not consider the application until a site was found that met his approval. Eventually a plot of land that belonged to the brewers Mitchell and Butler, on the corner of Barrs Street and Cross Street, was deemed suitable.
Following negotiations, the company donated the freehold land free of charge. A stone plaque commemorating this gift is situated at the side of the main entrance. Negotiations with Carnegie resumed and he awarded the sum of £1,500, equivalent to over £130,000 today. Local architect Abel Round designed the building and the building contract went to local firm William Jackson. Joseph Gill, chairman of Oldbury Public Libraries committee laid the foundation stone on 23 July 1908.
Current status: Still open as a public library, run by Sandwell libraries (2017)
- Year grant given (if known):
- Amount of grant: £1,500
- Year opened (and by who – if known): Friday 26 February 1909. Note: the ceremony was marred by 2 events: the original opener, Sir Alexander Macomb Chance, was confined to bed by his doctor; William Arthur Albright deputised as opener, but the formal opening of the doors was abandoned due to a snowstorm and the guests hurriedly gathered inside in the ‘News Room’ for the opening speeches.
Photo of library today:
No free to use photo found yet.
Old photo of library (postcard):
Nothing in my collection yet
- Article about their centenary celebrations
- Booklet created for the centenary celebrations: A history of Libraries in Langley
- Blog post by ‘retired Langley councillor < clearly impressed by the amount of activity going on!
- Blog post (2014) which is less positive, noting that the library was on an “at risk” list