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

Andrew Carnegie’s decision to compliment library construction developed outside of his experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years while in the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to men read aloud and discuss books borrowed out of the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.writing4you.com Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but been required to stop after only three years. The rapid industrialization within the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father beyond business. Therefore, a family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to travel to work, his learning did not end. Following a year with a textile factory, he was a messenger boy to your local telegraph company. A number 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 book. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows whereby the sunshine of information streamed. In 1853, if the colonel’s representatives aimed to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter towards editor on the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the suitable of all working boys have fun with the pleasures of the library. More valuable, he resolved that, should he be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities designed to other poor workers.

Over the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that are going to enable him to meet that pledge. During his years as being a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the art of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts when using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he visited work at age 18. During his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent in the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in a number of other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to regulate the Keystone Bridge Company, which has been successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. By way of the 1870s he was paying attention to 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. Just before selling Carnegie Steel he had started to consider how to deal with his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, that he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately with regard to their dependents, and distribute most of their riches to help the welfare and happiness on the common man–when using the consideration that can help solely those who would help themselves. The Most Beneficial 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 information, and then the promotion of world peace. Many of those organizations carry on and this present day: the Carnegie Corporation in Nyc, for example, helps support Sesame Street.

As a result of his background, Carnegie was particularly interested in public libraries. At some point he stated a library was the very best gift for a community, simply because it gave people the cabability to improve themselves. His confidence was with regards to the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, for example, a library distributed by Enoch Pratt had been utilised by 37,000 people one year. Carnegie believed that the relatively few public library patrons were more value thus to their community as opposed to the masses who chose to never enjoy the library.

Carnegie divided his donations to libraries to the retail and wholesale periods. Through the retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in the usa. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities like pools and even libraries. On the years after 1896, referred to as wholesale period, Carnegie not necessarily supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities that had limited admittance to cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were cheaper than $10,000. Although almost all 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 after a report made to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 on the existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report concluded that to generally be really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings was provided, these days the time had come to staff all of them with pros who would stimulate active, efficient libraries for their communities. Libraries already promised continued to generally be 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 during which he believed. His gifts to several charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 percent of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a technique to enhance people’s lives, and libraries provided considered one of his main tools to assist Americans form a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both when he was young, and in the future? 2. What amount formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his fascination with books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people should do making use of their money? Why did he reckon that? Would you agree? 4. How did supporting libraries match 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, In 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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