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Libraries in New Albany can be traced as far back as 1855. Thus, New Albany has a long history of believing in the right to know and the power of knowledge and self-improvement.
After an 1883 state law was passed the local school board saw the wisdom of establishing a permanent public library in 1884 which opened a year later in the first of five different locations.
The current Carnegie Center for Art and History was the fourth home of the Library which opened in 1904. This was made possible by a generous grant from the Carnegie Foundation. There were 2,100 registered patrons and 11,000 books in 1905.
Flash forward more than 100 years and the Library has become independent from the school system and serves the whole county.
Serving 75,000 people, and with a circulating collection of 400,000+ items, the Library has become a multi-faceted, computerized cornerstone of our community’s fabric and heritage. The current library building opened in 1969 and underwent major renovations in 1998.
The present economy has been a challenge for the staff, but the Library is still serving the community with exceptional programs and materials.
Further historical and current information can be found in the Library’s Indiana History Room and on the Library website.