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Andrew Carnegie’s decision to aid library construction developed using their own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years within the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he heard men read aloud and discuss books borrowed from the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create. Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but was required to stop after only three years. The rapid industrialization on the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. For that reason, the family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Andrew Carnegie’s decision to aid library construction developed using their own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years within the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he heard men read aloud and discuss books borrowed from the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.check my blog Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but was required to stop after only three years. The rapid industrialization on the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. For that reason, the family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie pay a visit to work, his learning did not end. After having a year from a textile factory, he was a messenger boy for the local telegraph company. Some of his fellow messengers introduced him to Col. James Anderson of Allegheny, who every Saturday opened his personal library for any young worker who wished to borrow a magazine. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows where light of knowledge streamed. In 1853, after the colonel’s representatives made an effort to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter for the editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the right of all of the working boys to have the pleasures with the library. More valuable, he resolved that, should he be wealthy, he will make similar opportunities suitable to other poor workers.

Through the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that may enable him to meet that pledge. Throughout his years for a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the art of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts with all the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he went along to just work at age 18. Throughout his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent on the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in many other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to manage the Keystone Bridge Company, that has been successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. Via the 1870s he was focusing 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 how to deal with his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, where by he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately with their dependents, and distribute most of their riches to profit the welfare and happiness in the common man–with the consideration to help only those who will help themselves. The Best Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields in 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 incorporate gifts that promoted scientific research, the actual spread of knowledge, and then the promotion of world peace. A large number of organizations continuously this very day: the Carnegie Corporation in The Big Apple, such as, helps support Sesame Street.

As a result of his background, Carnegie was particularly excited about public libraries. At one point he stated a library was the absolute best gift for your community, simply because it gave people a chance to improve themselves. His confidence was dependant upon the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, for example, a library offered by Enoch Pratt ended up being used by 37,000 individuals one full year. Carnegie considered that the relatively small number of public library patrons were of more value at their community versus the masses who chose to not take advantage of the library.

Carnegie divided his donations to libraries in the retail and wholesale periods. Through retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in the states. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities for instance swimming pools plus libraries. With the years after 1896, known as the wholesale period, Carnegie not supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities who had limited a chance to access cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were for under $10,000. Although much of the towns receiving gifts were with the Midwest, overall 46 states benefited from Carnegie’s plan.

Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction using a report meant to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 from the existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report determined that for being really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings have been provided, these days it was time to staff these people with experts who would stimulate active, efficient libraries with their communities. Libraries already promised continued for being built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was considered library education.

When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes in which he believed. His gifts to numerous charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as an approach to better people’s lives, and libraries provided an example of his main tools for helping Americans create a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both as he was young, and in the future? 2. Just how much formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his involvement with books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people have to do utilizing their money? Why did he believe that? Should you agree? 4. How did supporting libraries match Carnegie’s past and the 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, Within the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).

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