By Susan Johnson
The origins of Armley Library date back to 1874, when it was part of the main Armley Sunday School.
As books were so expensive the school loaned them out to interested scholars. Years later in 1901 following the Libraries Act, the Sunday School moved to Wesley Road and in 1902 the current building named Armley Library was established on the same site.
In the same era the word “library” conjured up images of an old building, holding old leather chairs, reading tables and acres of books arranged alphabetically by author with fines levied for overdue books. And it might have stayed that way had the internet not been invented.
The accessibility of e-books, music, videos etc onto mobile reading devices like the Kindle, I-pad or smart phone meant that the library had to adapt or become redundant.
Happily most libraries embraced the change and began to offer things other than books. Armley Library now offers a range of services including DVD and CD hire, and access to computers.
It has more recently developed into a community hub offering advice on savings, financial matters, housing, social, welfare and well being issues, a far cry from its humble origins in 1874.
For more of Susan Johnson looking at the history beneath your feet on Armley Town Street, follow this link.