Side AAndrew Carnegie credited libraries with opening the "treasures of knowledge and imagination through which youth may ascend." This belief led him to provide funding for more than 1,600 libraries across the United States. Designed by local architect Edwin A. Bowd, Lansing's library was typical of Carnegie libraries. Its simple style featured a classical facade that suggested a return to the enlightened days of antiquity. The original interior included spaces with specific functions, such as the reading room and the children's room, as well as an auditorium on the second floor. The libraries interior design reflected changing cultural attitudes toward the role of libraries in the United States, as libraries put more emphasis on public access, especially use by children and young adults.
Side BIn 1902 steel magnate Andrew Carnegie offered Lansing $35,000 to build a new public library. Persuaded by the tireless efforts of local women's groups, voters accepted the gift and agreed to pay $3,500 annually to maintain the building. According to The State Republican, State Librarian sought Carnegie's donation in the belief that "the future of any nation depends upon the intellectual development of its citizens." A crowd of eager residents was present to dedicate the new library on February 22, 1905. The library
was valued as a resource for the general public, as well as for student from the old Central High School, located on the same block. When the new community library was built in 1964, this building continued its educational role by becoming part of Lansing Community College