Rishtons Library was started in a modest fashion, similar to many of the libraries opening at the time in small towns such as ours. The opening hours were short, and the staff were part time and mainly volunteers.
On 31st July, 1923, the fire brigade was disbanded, and in 1929 the station became a public library. The Public Library, Brook Street, was opened on August 15th 1929; H. N. Carlton, librarian.
On the 22nd September 1934 the Rishton Urban District Council bought the former Liberal club building to use as the public library. It then took almost 2 years of funding from Lancashire Council County and the Urban District Council before the building was officially opened.
It was decided by the Lancashire County Council to close the present Library from the 31st March, 1936, and that Mr. Baxendale should attend to the collection of the old books at the present Library Centre himself, and that he had written to Mr. J. J. Parkinson and Miss D. Parkinson informing them that their services would cease as and from the 31st March, 1936 and thanking them for their past services.
There were 30 applications for the post of Assistant in Charge for the Rishton Branch Library on the 20th April 1936. The short listed people were Miss Aspen, Miss Raven, Mr. Rimmer, and Miss Sharples, who were asked to attend a meeting of the Library Committee of the Council on Friday next at 8pm. Mr. C. Rimmer was the successful applicant.
A caretaker was appointed for the new library at £52 per annum by the council on the 20th April 1936.
The duties of Caretaker to the Library, Ambulance Driver, and caretaker of the Harwood Road waiting rooms was to be co-ordinated on the 28th May 1936. The Caretaker of the Library, Cleaner of the Harwood Road Conveniences, and Ambulance Driver was to be paid £3 per week, with an allowance of 2 nights per week and 1 week-end per month from the 18th June 1936. Mr. P. Bailey was employed as caretaker.
The library was officially opened on the 16th May 1936, for just a few hours per day.
The opening times were set as follows in a council meeting dated the 6th May 1936;
- 11 am to 12 - 30 pm Monday to Friday
- 2 pm to 4 pm Monday to Friday
- 5 - 30 pm to 8 pm Monday to Friday
- 10 am to 12 noon Saturday
In 1941 the Rishton and Church Branches of the library were amalgamated for the purpose of staffing, and placed in charge was the Librarian of the Rishton branch.
5 years later, in 1946, the two library committees were amalgamated. In 1948 the combined committee amalgamated again, this time with Great Harwood and Whalley Branches, to form a District Committee for the four branches.
In 1951 the library is recorded as situated in Commercial Street, and the head librarian is listed as H Rostock. However the library later moved because during my childhood I remember it being in School Street.
A new Children's room was opened on the 21st August 1951, as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations, by County Alderman, Lady Openshaw, J. P., the chairman of the County Library Sub-Committee.
The library building was condemned as unsafe in 1964, due to subsidence in the area, and the Library was moved into a mobile building in 1967 based in the fire station yard.
It was moved permanently into the Primitive Methodists Sunday School on School Street in 1968.
In September 1981 a purpose built Library was opened, the first purpose built library that the town had ever had! It covered 2,500 square meters and was based on the site of the former Co-op buildings which stood on Commercial Street, High Street, and School Street.
How to find us
Rishton library is in the South East division of Lancashire
|The address is:||
Contact the library:
Telephone: 01254 885314.
|Monday||10:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 18:30|
|Tuesday||10:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 17:00|
|Thursday||10:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 17:00|
|Friday||10:00 - 12:00, 13:00 - 17:00|
|Saturday||10:00 - 12:00|
Stock at Rishton Library
Adult Fiction, Adult Non Fiction, Junior Fiction, Junior Non-fiction, Large Print
Spoken Word: Yes
Language Sets: Yes
Music Cassettes: No
Video Cassettes: No
CD ROMs: No
Facilities at Rishton Library
Rishton Library is live on the People's Network. It has 8 PCs connected to the People's Network.
Staff car park on Commercial street adjacent to the library. Disabled parking on Commercial Street, and two parking spaces. There is a general car park for about 50 cars adjacent to the library, access is off School Street.
Disabled Entrance: Yes
Disabled Ramp: Yes
Photocopier for public use: Yes
Council Minutes 1935 / 36.
Rishton on Record, The Festival of Britain 1951.