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Once upon a time

The James Reckitt Library Trust (JRLT) was established as an independent charitable trust in 1892 by the pioneering industrialist and philanthropist, Sir James Reckitt.

Libraries were amongst his many philanthropic passions and he campaigned tirelessly for their establishment by the City Corporation. 

When Sir James’s efforts were initially rebuffed, he built at his own cost the first free public library in the city – the James Reckitt Library in East Hull. 

The opening of the Western Library in 1895, the first to be established from the public purse, was a direct result of his campaigning efforts.

Today the JRLT supports the development of public libraries throughout Kingston upon Hull.  The projects and activities we fund are designed to stimulate a love of reading and learning, to encourage those who may not normally use public library services to do so, and to raise awareness of what modern public libraries can offer.

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