Report: “Andrew Carnegie Built 1,700 Public Libraries. But Some Towns Refused the Steel Baron’s Money”
From The Washington Post:
Carnegie’s support for libraries reflected a genuine belief in their educational and cultural importance that stemmed from his own experience as an immigrant youth in Pittsburgh, historian Wayne Wiegand said. The need was great.
Libraries were often afterthoughts, located in abandoned churches or empty storefronts. In Chatfield, Minn., [historian George S.] Bobinski wrote, the library shared space with a public restroom whose matron doubled as the librarian.
The money came with strings. Wiegand said communities had to provide the land and commit to supporting the library in perpetuity with revenue equal to 10 percent of the grant. Carnegie’s $40 million went only to English-speaking nations — Bobinski notes that an additional $16 million was donated to build 830 libraries in other countries.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.