Cabinteely Library – A Brief History

Cabinteely Library is a single storey carnegie library designed in 1912 by Rudolph Maximilian Butler who also designed Glencullen, Dundrum and Shankill libraries, in what is now Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

It was built with the help of the Carnegie Trust. In 1928 it had 206 registered borrowers and 350 books in stock! The method of selecting books was very different to today. Back then books were brought to the library in a library van. Readers were invited to select books from the van for placing in the library.

The County Library Committee decided to hold a series of lectures and organise social gatherings in libraries.

From 1968 until 1972 only half of the
building was used as a library. The other half was used as a Dispensary or Health Centre in the area.

In 1970 the entire inside of the building was refurbished. A proper entrance was created.

Fireplaces were removed and library furniture was installed. The exterior of the building remained the same except for the addition of a staff room
behind the building. It was officially reopened in 1972 with 12,500 books in stock.

Cabinteely library burned down in November 1987 following an arson attack which started the blaze in the central desk. The local history collection was held in the library and everything here was destroyed.

While the fire gutted the building and left it roofless, many of the books survived the fire only to be irreparably damaged by smoke and water including the history section at the far end of the building from the outbreak. At the time of the fire Dublin County Council announced that they were ‘examining their position with a view to rebuilding the library’

Andrew Carnegie

Source: Rathmichael Historical Society

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