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1903 - First Free Library

<p>January 31, 1903 - Since 1891, Charlotte&#39;s library has charged a subscription fee of 50 cents per month. Today, the city&#39;s first free library opens. Northern steel executive Andrew Carnegie has given Charlotte $25,000 to start the library. The city must promise to provide $2,500 each year to operate it. Carnegie also donates money for a separate library designated for black patrons. When a tax dispute arises in 1939, the Charlotte Public Library will be forced to close for one year. When it reopens, it will expand programs and services to continue the tradition of serving the educational and cultural needs of a growing community.</p>