Andrew Carnegie’s decision to support library construction developed outside of his very own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years inside coastal town of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to 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 needed to stop after only 3 years. The rapid industrialization with the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father from business. Because of this, a family sold their belongings and immigrated to Allegheny, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Andrew Carnegie’s decision to support library construction developed outside of his very own experience. Born in 1835, he spent his first 12 years inside coastal town of Dunfermline, Scotland. There he listened to men read aloud and discuss books borrowed from the Tradesmen’s Subscription Library that his father, a weaver, had helped create.look at this website Carnegie began his formal education at age eight, but needed to stop after only 3 years. The rapid industrialization with the textile trade forced small businessmen like Carnegie’s father 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 travel to work, his learning did not end. After the year in a very textile factory, he became a messenger boy for that local telegraph company. A few 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 novel. Carnegie later said the colonel opened the windows whereby light of information streamed. In 1853, whenever the colonel’s representatives aimed to restrict the library’s use, Carnegie wrote a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch defending the ideal of all of the working boys to take pleasure from the pleasures for the library. More significant, he resolved that, should he be wealthy, he will make similar opportunities provided to other poor workers.

On the next half-century Carnegie accumulated the fortune that are going to enable him to fulfill that pledge. Throughout his years to be a messenger, Carnegie had taught himself the art of telegraphy. This skill helped him make contacts while using Pennsylvania Railroad, where he attended just work at age 18. Throughout his 12-year railroad association he rose quickly, ultimately becoming superintendent belonging to 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 regulate the Keystone Bridge Company, that was successfully replacing wooden railroad bridges with iron ones. Through 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 begun to consider how to handle his immense fortune. In 1889 he wrote a famous essay entitled The Gospel of Wealth, during which he stated that wealthy men should do without extravagance, provide moderately for his or her dependents, and distribute most of their riches to help the welfare and happiness from the common man–along with the consideration for helping solely those would you help themselves. The Best Fields for Philanthropy, his second essay, listed seven fields that 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 typical spread of knowledge, and the promotion of world peace. A great number of organizations keep this day: the Carnegie Corporation in The Big Apple, by way of example, helps support Sesame Street.

Owing to his background, Carnegie was particularly interested in public libraries. At some time he stated a library was the ideal gift for that community, simply because it gave people the opportunity to improve themselves. His confidence was depending on outcomes of similar gifts from earlier philanthropists. In Baltimore, to provide an example, a library given by Enoch Pratt were definitely utilised by 37,000 people in 12 month. Carnegie considered that the relatively small number of public library patrons were of more value for their community as opposed to masses who chose not to benefit from the library.

Carnegie divided his donations to libraries inside the retail and wholesale periods. Over the retail period, 1886 to 1896, he gave $1,860,869 for 14 endowed buildings in six communities in america. These buildings were actually community centers, containing recreational facilities for instance pools and libraries. Inside years after 1896, known as the wholesale period, Carnegie no longer supported urban multipurpose buildings. Instead he gave $39,172,981 to smaller communities who had limited entry 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 on the Midwest, altogether 46 states benefited from Carnegie’s plan.

Andrew Carnegie stopped making gifts for library construction using a report produced 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 to be really effective, the libraries needed trained personnel. Buildings ended up being provided, these days it was time to staff them 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 where by he believed. His gifts to varied charities totalled nearly $350 million, almost 90 percent of his fortune. Carnegie regarded all education as a technique to elevate people’s lives, and libraries provided amongst his main tools for helping Americans produce a brighter future. Questions for Reading 1 1. How did progress and industrialization affect Carnegie, both when he was young, and later in life? 2. The amount of formal education did Carnegie have? What factors contributed to his involvement in books and reading? 3. What did Carnegie believe wealthy people ought to do with regards to their money? Why did he consider that? Would you agree? 4. How did supporting libraries match Carnegie’s past along with 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, At the Trail of Carnegie Libraries, Antiques and Collecting (February 1994); Gerald R. Shields, Recycling Buildings for Libraries, Public Libraries (March/April 1994).