Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Love in the Library with Andy Carnegie

1909 view of the Carnegie Library, Pocatello, Idaho

The Carnegie Library In the early 1900s, steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie began a program to encourage education by financing community libraries across the United States. Carnegie was an immigrant from Scotland who had little education but who realized the importance of education, especially for the stream of immigrants who lacked sufficient education to compete in the American job market. His public program furnished libraries for thousands of communities across the country.

My first experience with a library was when I was learning to read and my dad and I climbed the many stairs of this imposing building on the corner of West Center and East Garfield. This Carnegie Library, built around 1907 from a 1906 grant, was one of ten in our state and cost $12,000 to build at that time. In the late 1950's it was vacated for a larger, more modern building on the east side of town. The newer building was only three blocks from St. Anthony School where I attended elementary and once a week I was one of the few bookish types who could walk there and back alone, loaded with books. Thus began my life long love affair with books and libraries. Returning to Idaho on occasion I've re-visited the new, even larger library that was built in 1994 on the original site, attached to the original Carnegie Library. It still smells the same to me.
[photos & facts from Idaho Museum of Natural History]

Many years later I am still a user and browser and haunter of libraries in every city I've lived in or visited. There's the massive urban library I'd visit in Chicago and the tiny Village Library in Jacobus, Pennsylvania where I read for story time. Once smitten, I'm always able to sniff out a library wherever I go. So I tip my hat to Andrew Carnegie!

Today's letter for ABC Wednesday is 'L' --for me it spells l-i-b-r-a-r-y.


Sylvia K said...

Great post and very interesting library. Libraries are the best there is and definitely one of favorite places!

Have a great day!


Daryl said...

Excellent post, Ms Blue, anything/anyone who encourages reading is a hero in my book ... there is no other activity that satisfies so many 'needs' .... reading opens worlds ... and libraries are something every child should get/learn to love

Mara said...

I love the painting of the little girl reading. So lovely and peaceful!
I think books are very important to children. Books give you knowledge, give you enjoyment, but most importantly, they give you imagination. Because even though the words are there, the pictures aren't yet (well, most of the time anyway) and you have to fill in those blanks yourself.
I've been to so many places without ever having set foot there and I have books and libraries to thank.
A fantastic L!!!

inlandempiregirl said...

I had no idea that library was in Pocatello. I have so many wonderful memories of the library in Kellogg.

Snap said...

Wonderful post for "L". I do love libraries ... yippeeee!

Dragonstar said...

Libraries are among the best places on earth. Lovely post Noni!

Thanks for your post this week.
The ABC Team.

Gaelyn said...

This is a majestic library. I was introduced to an awesome old library when very young. It's now the first thing I look for in a new town. I have more library cards than credit cards. Probably a good thing. Great post. And thanks for stopping by.

Janie said...

I didn't know Carnegie had sponsored libraries all over the country. I love books, and the local library is one of the first places I visit when I move to a new town.

Cloudia said...

yes! Honolulu's main state library has a Carnegie bust for this reason!

Aloha, Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Anonymous said...

I remember the libraries I have been in. Love them. If there is place that one can travel with never moving anywhere it there.

Tumblewords: said...

A nice piece of history with wonderful photos. I feel as if I've been there.

Roger Owen Green said...

I worked in a Carnegie library in Binghamton, NY 40 years ago and am now a librarian, which will almost certainly be my L NEXT round.