The "old" library is located at Union and Seward Streets. The land was bought with a $15,000 gift from General Electric. The building itself was funded by a $50,000 gift from Andrew Carnegie. It was opened on October 6, 1903. At the time there was concern that it was so far out of town that people would not be able to get there and it might even be unsafe.
The building followed the basic design of the Carnegie libraries throughout the northeast. Note the names of famous writers carved along the upper part just under the roof. Many patrons remember the glass balcony in the main part of the library, which also was part of many Carnegie libraries. The building is currently used as a dormitory for Union College.[Thanks to I Spy in Schenectady www.mvls.info/ispy/schenectady/sch_site03_hist.html]