The Carnegie Library at Livermore, California, opened in 1911 and continued in use as a library until 1966. It now hosts a historical museum and art gallery. The building was designed by William H. Weeks in the Greek Revival style and is included on the National Register of Historic Places. A weekly farmers' market takes place in the surrounding park.HistoryThe first Livermore Library was organized in 1875 by the Livermore Library and Dramatic Association. It initially had a collection of 250 books. Members of the public were asked to pay three dollars a year for a family membership (or twenty dollars for a lifetime membership) for the privilege of borrowing books. In 1878, the Livermore Public Library Association was organized to manage the operation. This association raised funds to build a library building, but closed in 1887, after public interest waned. The books were stored in the local newspaper office.The Livermore Ladies League of Progress reopened the library in 1896, naming it the Livermore Free Library. They created a new "corporation of public benefit" and sold shares to purchase the former library building. In 1901, the city took over the free library and put it under municipal control and financial support. By then, the library's inventory had grown to 3,500 books.Led by Mrs. Dell C. Savage, president of the library board, Livermore began its campaign to obtain a library grant from the Carnegie Foundation in 1908. A formal application was made and a grant of $10,000 was approved that year. The city agreed to match the grant by providing $1,000 per year for ten years, provide land for the building, and support the operation with tax money. A bond election was scheduled for December 17, 1909. The election passed easily, supported bySan Francisco Chronicle and the Livermore Valley Improvement Association. The city purchased a 1.83acre site at Third Street and L street for $9,000. The plot was formerly the site of the Peter McKeany corral and slaughterhouse.
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