Accrington library was opened by the Mayor of Accrington, Alderman T E Higham, on 18th Jan 1908. A lending library service had been provided by the Mechanics Institute next door. They leased a room to Accrington Corporation and a reading room was provided in the Market Hall, in one of the galleries on the Peel Street side of the building. In 1938 the childrens library, including office accommodation, a hallway and basement storage and staff room was built with access to the lending library from the hallway. The reading room was reduced in size in 1959 to extend the lending library. In 1962 the reference library moved into what had been the lecture room and the former reference library became the lecture room. No more alterations took place until the 1980s when the Mechanics Institute next door was purchased and the top floor converted into the local studies library, abutting onto the reference library. In 1992 the separate children entrance was closed and access provided through the lending library. In 1995 the reading room was converted into extra space for the lending library and in 1998 the childrens library was reduced in size to provide extra office accommodation. A feature of the building is the stained glass window on the staircase. It was created by Gustav Hiller of Liverpool and it is the Art Nouveau style. The staircase is also of note, as it is keyed into the wall and so has no visible means of support. The library was designed in Renaissance style by William Newton, the Borough engineer and it is a Grade II listed building, as is the Mechanics Institute next door.