Andrew Carnegie’s decision to back up library construction developed away from his own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years in the coastal city of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he heard men read aloud and discuss books borrowed via the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.YOURURL.com Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but were forced to stop after only three years. The rapid industrialization in the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father using business. Consequently, a family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Although these new circumstances required the young Carnegie to venture to work, his learning failed to end. From a year inside of a textile factory, he became a messenger boy for that local telegraph company. A handful 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 during which the light of information streamed. In 1853, once the colonel’s representatives made an effort to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter to editor within the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the correct coming from all working boys to take pleasure from the pleasures of your library. More vital, he resolved that, should he ever be wealthy, he makes similar opportunities on the market to other poor workers.
On the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune which will enable him to fulfill that pledge. During his years as a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the skill of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts aided by the Pennsylvania Railroad, where he went along to work at age 18. Throughout his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent in 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 deal with the Keystone Bridge Company, this was successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. By 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 started to consider how to handle his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, of which he stated that wealthy men should live without extravagance, provide moderately with regards to their dependents, and distribute the rest of their riches to profit the welfare and happiness within the common man–using the consideration to support solely those would you help themselves. The Very Best 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 actual spread of knowledge, and the promotion of world peace. Many of these organizations continue to this present day: the Carnegie Corporation in Nyc, for example, helps support Sesame Street.
Thanks to his background, Carnegie was particularly keen on public libraries. At one point he stated a library was the very best gift for one community, given it gave people the cabability to improve themselves. His confidence was in line with the outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, one example is, a library given by Enoch Pratt were utilised by 37,000 individuals 12 month. Carnegie believed that the relatively small number of public library patrons were of more value to their community as compared to the masses who chose to not take pleasure in the library.
Carnegie divided his donations to libraries within 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 usa. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities similar to pools and libraries. Inside years after 1896, named the wholesale period, Carnegie will no longer 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 cheaper than $ten thousand. Although a lot of the towns receiving gifts were during the Midwest, as a whole 46 states took advantage of Carnegie’s plan.
Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction carrying out a report manufactured 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 remain really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings were provided, the good news is the time had come to staff them professionals who would stimulate active, efficient libraries into their communities. Libraries already promised continued to always be 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 through which he believed. His gifts to several charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 % of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a technique to boost people’s lives, and libraries provided just one of his main tools to help Americans construct 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 of formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his interest on books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people needs to do using money? Why did he believe that? Do you agree? 4. How did supporting libraries fit with Carnegie’s past and his 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, Over the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).