Andrew Carnegie’s decision to guide library construction developed out of his very own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years inside coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he heard men read aloud and discuss books borrowed out of the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.website here Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but were required to stop after only three years. The rapid industrialization with the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father out from business. Therefore, the family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to go to work, his learning failed to end. From a year in a very textile factory, he became a messenger boy towards the local telegraph company. Several of his fellow messengers introduced him to Col. James Anderson of Allegheny, who every Saturday opened his personal library to any young worker who wished to borrow a guide. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows where the sunlight of knowledge streamed. In 1853, as soon as the colonel’s representatives attempted to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter into the editor of this Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the correct coming from all working boys to experience the pleasures on the library. More essential, he resolved that, should he be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities designed for other poor workers.
On the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that could enable him to meet that pledge. Throughout his years to provide a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the ability of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he visited work at age 18. During his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent with the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in numerous other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to control the Keystone Bridge Company, that has been successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. Because of the 1870s he was centering on steel manufacturing, ultimately creating the Carnegie Steel Company. In 1901 he sold that business for $250 million.
Carnegie then retired and devoted the remainder of his life to philanthropy. Prior to selling Carnegie Steel he had begun to consider what to do with his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, whereby he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately regarding their dependents, and distribute most of their riches to help the welfare and happiness of your common man–aided by the consideration to assist just those would you help themselves. The Most Suitable Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields to which the wealthy should donate: universities, libraries, medical centers, public parks, meeting and concert halls, public baths, and churches. He later expanded this list to provide gifts that promoted scientific research, the general spread of information, and the promotion of world peace. Many of these organizations continue to this very day: the Carnegie Corporation in Nyc, as an example, helps support Sesame Street.
By reason of his background, Carnegie was particularly excited about public libraries. At some time he stated a library was the best possible gift for any community, mainly because it gave people the ability to improve themselves. His confidence was with regards to the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, as an example, a library given by Enoch Pratt have been used by 37,000 people 1 year. Carnegie believed that the relatively few public library patrons were of more value towards their community as opposed to the masses who chose not to ever enjoy the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries in the retail and wholesale periods. All through the retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in america. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities like pools in addition to libraries. Inside the years after 1896, termed as a wholesale period, Carnegie not necessarily supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities which had limited entry to cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were for less than $ten thousand. Although many of the towns receiving gifts were on the Midwest, as a whole 46 states took advantage of Carnegie’s plan.
Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction following a report intended to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 belonging to the existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report concluded that to always be really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings ended up provided, however right now the time had come to staff them pros who would stimulate active, efficient libraries into their communities. Libraries already promised continued to remain built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was looked to library education.
When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes where by he believed. His gifts to several charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a method to strengthen people’s lives, and libraries provided certainly one of his main tools for helping Americans generate a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both when he was young, and down the road? 2. How much formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his need for books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people have to do with their money? Why did he consider that? Will you agree? 4. How did supporting libraries fit with Carnegie’s past with his fantastic beliefs? Reading 1 was compiled from George S. Bobinski, Carnegie Libraries (Chicago: American Library Association, 1969); Andrew Carnegie, Autobiography of Andrew Carnegie, reprint (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1920 1986); Barry Sears, For the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).Share