Andrew Carnegie’s decision to back up library construction developed due to their own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years during the coastal town 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.these details Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but was required to stop after only 3 years. The rapid industrialization in the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. As a result, family members 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 did not end. Following a year in the textile factory, he became a messenger boy with the local telegraph company. Most 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 novel. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows where the sunshine of information streamed. In 1853, should the colonel’s representatives attempted to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter to your editor of your Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the right of the working boys to relish the pleasures belonging to the library. More valuable, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he would make similar opportunities designed to other poor workers.
Covering the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune which would enable him to satisfy that pledge. Throughout his years for a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the ability of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts when using the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he went along to work at age 18. During his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent from the Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh division. He simultaneously invested in a lot of other businesses, including railroad locomotives, oil, and iron and steel. In 1865, Carnegie left the railroad to look after the Keystone Bridge Company, that was successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. Via 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. Even before selling Carnegie Steel he had begun to consider how to handle his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, in which he stated that wealthy men should live without extravagance, provide moderately for dependents, and distribute most of their riches to benefit the welfare and happiness of this common man–together with the consideration to assist you to solely those would you help themselves. The Best Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields 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 add gifts that promoted scientific research, the overall spread of information, together with the promotion of world peace. Most of these organizations carry on and this day: the Carnegie Corporation in The Big Apple, for instance, helps support Sesame Street.
Caused by his background, Carnegie was particularly thinking about public libraries. At some time he stated a library was the ideal gift for just a community, given it gave people the cabability to improve themselves. His confidence was in accordance with the results of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, such as, a library distributed by Enoch Pratt was utilized by 37,000 folks one year. Carnegie thought that the relatively small number of public library patrons were of more value in their community as opposed to the masses who chose to not ever gain benefit from the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries into the retail and wholesale periods. In the retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in the us. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities that include swimming pools and libraries. Within the years after 1896, known as wholesale period, Carnegie not supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities that had limited access to cultural institutions. His gifts provided 1,406 towns with buildings devoted exclusively to libraries. Over half his grants were cheaper than $ten thousand. Although lots 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 made to him by Dr. Alvin Johnson, an economics professor. In 1916 Dr. Johnson visited 100 of this existing Carnegie libraries and studied their social significance, physical aspects, effectiveness, and financial condition. His final report determined that to always be really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings ended up being provided, the good news is the time had come to staff these with pros who would stimulate active, efficient libraries within their communities. Libraries already promised continued to always be built until 1923, but after 1919 all financial support was turned into library education.
When Andrew Carnegie died in 1919 at age 84, he had given nearly one-fourth of his life to causes wherein he believed. His gifts to numerous charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as an approach to elevate people’s lives, and libraries provided just one of his main tools to assist you to Americans develop a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both when he was young, and later on? 2. Simply how much formal education did Carnegie have? What factors led to his interest on books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people have to do along with their money? Why did he reckon that? Do 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, About the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).