Paddington Library

Paddington Free Public Library 1892

The design for the new Town Hall had made provision for a public library and free-reading room which was located on the ground floor at the ‘northern end of the building’. The Paddington Free Public Library was opened by the Minister of Public Instruction, the Hon. F.B. Suttor, on 11 May 1892 at the Paddington Town Hall. The library committee was made up of the mayor, Ald. White, and Ald. Hellmrich, Walker, Dillon and Usher of Paddington Council. The report noted that the public library was the ‘first of its kind in the eastern suburbs’.1

By 1896 the librarian Mr D. Hogan reported there were 300 members of the library which held over 2,000 volumes.2

Paddington Library was closed by the Paddington Council at the end of 1940. A report in the Sydney Morning Herald in November 1943 concerning councils interested in establishing libraries under the Library Act noted that Paddington Council was ‘not likely to establish a library. A municipal library years ago lost popularity and became a burden to the council. It was abolished only a few months ago [sic] and some of the books were given to the local Boy Scouts and other bodies, and the remainder were stored away in a room in the Town Hall’.3

1 Sydney Morning Herald 12 May 1892, p.5

2 Sydney Morning Herald 19 Feb 1896, p.6

3 Sydney Morning Herald 30 Nov 1943, p.7