The mission of the Carnegie Public Library of East Liverpool is to support and enhance the quality of life for all residents of the user area; by providing free and equal access to information and services, in a variety of material formats; and by meeting the educational, recreational, and cultural information needs of its patrons.
There were two libraries in East Liverpool prior to the building of the present Carnegie building.In 1899 two local businessmen contacted Andrew Carnegie concerning the possibility of a donation to the City of East Liverpool, in order to build a public library. Andrew Carnegie, by now a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, had spent much of his youth in East Liverpool with relatives.
Construction of the building began in 1899 after a visit from Carnegie to the city. Designed by A. W. Scott of East Liverpool and constructed by Harvey McHenry the exterior of the building was complete in 1900. (to the right is a view of the building in 1900). The Library was officially opened and dedicated on May 8, 1902.
The Library has seen many functions in its history. At times it has housed a museum, pottery exhibitions and the local Genealogical Society. It has served as a bomb shelter and was used by the Red Cross during World War I for service project work such as making and rolling bandages. To the right is a picture of the library showing the upper floor with the Red Cross emblem and a funeral procession in front.
The Library has been in the center of activity in East Liverpool for many years. Located opposite the East Liverpool High School until that building was closed, the library steps were frequently the site for High School photographs. The picture at right shows a statue of a Civil War soldier. This statue occupied several different places in the city including in front of the library from 1916 to 1942 when it was removed and moved to its present position in the Soldiers' Cemetery at the Riverview Cemetery overlooking the Ohio Valley.
The Library building has seen several renovations in its 100 years. However, the exterior of the building has remained predominantly the same as in 1900. The interior has seen several changes over the years to expand the collections, bring the building and its functions to legal codes and to keep abreast of technological advances.