Andrew Carnegie’s decision to assist library construction developed due to his own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years while in the coastal town of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to men read aloud and discuss books borrowed within the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create. Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but wanted to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization of this textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father away from business. Because of this, a family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Andrew Carnegie’s decision to assist library construction developed due to his own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years while in the coastal town of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to men read aloud and discuss books borrowed within the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.click here for more Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but wanted to stop after only 36 months. The rapid industrialization of this textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father away from business. Because of this, a family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to see work, his learning failed to end. After a year inside of a textile factory, he was a messenger boy for any local telegraph company. A portion 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 manuscript. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows by which the light of knowledge streamed. In 1853, if your colonel’s representatives made an effort to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter into the editor of this Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the ideal of all of the working boys to enjoy the pleasures with the library. More significant, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities available for other poor workers.

Covering the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that are going to enable him to fulfill 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 to just work at age 18. During his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent belonging to the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in various other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to control the Keystone Bridge Company, which had been successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. By 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. Even 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, where by he stated that wealthy men should live without extravagance, provide moderately with regards to their dependents, and distribute most of their riches to benefit the welfare and happiness on the common man–along with the consideration to support solely those who would help themselves. The Most Effective 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 include gifts that promoted scientific research, the actual spread of information, and then the promotion of world peace. Several organizations carry on and this present day: the Carnegie Corporation in Ny, as an example ,, helps support Sesame Street.

Caused by his background, Carnegie was particularly looking into public libraries. At one point he stated a library was the ideal gift for that community, as it gave people a chance to improve themselves. His confidence was according to the results of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, as an example, a library provided by Enoch Pratt was utilised by 37,000 folks twelve months. Carnegie believed that the relatively few public library patrons were more value with their community as opposed to masses who chose never to enjoy the library.

Carnegie divided his donations to libraries into your retail and wholesale periods. During the retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in the country. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities such as private pools not to mention libraries. With the years after 1896, called wholesale period, Carnegie not anymore supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities who had limited ability to access 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 a lot of the towns receiving gifts were with the Midwest, overall 46 states took advantage of Carnegie’s plan.

Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction right after a report created to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 with the existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report figured that as being really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings were definitely provided, however right now it was time to staff them with professionals who would stimulate active, efficient libraries throughout their communities. Libraries already promised continued to be built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was turned to library education.

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