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Charlotte’s first free library opened its doors in 1903. Designed in the Neo-Classical tradition, it was built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. This building served the city until 1954 when it was demolished to make way for a new building, which opened in 1956. Thirty years later this building was stripped and expanded until the library was nearly double its size. The third Main Library celebrated its grand opening on June 18, 1989.
In 1995, the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (known after 2010 as “Charlotte Mecklenburg Library”) was named Library of the Year by the American Library Association. The library's greatest legacy is providing free information resources and services, as well as programs for all Charlotteans. In doing so, this tradition enhances the quality of life throughout Mecklenburg County.