AN INTERESTED crowd watches the library stone-laying ceremony on the building site in its early stages.

The Stars and Stripes flag was flown in honour of its benefactor, the Scots-born American industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was unable to be present.

It would be late 1904 before Keighley Library opened, in an impressive building costing double what Carnegie had originally offered, enrolling 3,000 borrowers during its first year, including seven journalists, 10 policemen, two window-cleaners and 520 “married women, spinsters, juveniles etc”.

An important Edwardian facility was its newsroom seating 150. Its walls were embellished with some of Carnegie’s favourite quotations, like “They are never alone who are accompanied by noble thoughts” and “The chief glory of a nation is its authors”.