Record

CodeNA10183
Dates1751-
Person NameKelso Public Library; 1751-
ActivityThe Kelso Public Library was established, in 1751, by 20 local people. During the 18th century the books were kept in the Council House and were moved to the Town Hall when that was built. Proprietors purchased or succeeded to a share in the library and had to be approved by other members. The Proprietors of the Library met quarterly and at an annual General Meeting in November when they decided which books would be purchased. The Librarian was elected by the Proprietors and opened the library three days a week for three or four hours. The Proprietors added their name to a list to have their turn at reading new acquisitions and were allowed to borrow them for one or two months. An annual subscription had to be paid, and fines were set for the late return of books or for their loss or damage. The subscribers were held responsible for the books and were not allowed to lend them to anyone else. Proprietors were entitled to nominate Readers, who on the payment of five shillings annually were also allowed to borrow books, with the proprietor accepting responsibiity for the books they borrowed. From 1825 all the books had to be returned by the first Friday of July to allow them to be inspected. 'Country gentlemen' were recommended to return their books in a locked box to which the librarian also held a key. By 1866 the library contained 8 000 volumes and it occupied a handsome building on the Terrace, overlooking the river.
Corporate NameKelso Public Library
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