Does Your Community Have One?


I've come across several of these buildings - most recently yesterday (see prior post). There is a Carnegie Library in Antwerp, OH, near to our town. 

Carnegie libraries (1,689 in the U.S.) were funded and built between 1883 and 1929 with money donated by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who earned the nickname "Patron Saint of Libraries".

In the early 20th century, a Carnegie library was often the most imposing structure in hundreds of small American communities from Maine to California. Most of the library buildings were unique, displaying a number of architectural styles. Each style was chosen by the community and the architecture was typically simple and formal, welcoming patrons to enter through a prominent doorway, nearly always accessed via a staircase, symbolizing a person's elevation by learning. Outside every library was a lamppost or lantern to symbolize enlightenment.

Nearly all of Carnegie's libraries were built according to "The Carnegie Formula", which required matching contributions from the town that received the donation. It must: demonstrate the need for a public library; provide the building site; provide ten percent annually of the cost of the library's construction to support its operation; and, provide free service to all.

The design of the Carnegie libraries encouraged ommunication with the librarian. It also created an opportunity for people to browse and discover books on their own. Before Carnegie, patrons had to ask a clerk to retrieve books for closed stacks.

While hundreds of the library buildings have been converted into museums, community centers, office buildings and residences, more than half of those in the U.S. still serve their communities as libraries over a century after their construction, many in middle- to low-income neighborhoods.   (resource:  Wikipedia)

9 comments:

  1. I'm going to have to check out the library in Antwerp. I didn't know it was there. Welcome home! Donna

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  2. I hope we always have libraries in all cities, towns and rural areas. They have played such an important part of my life, when I couldn't afford books I lived at the library and I think I should spend more time there even now compared to the big book stores, although I do enjoy passing my books along to others. Have a wonderful weekend......:-) Hugs

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  3. I have never had the opportunity to visit a Carnegie Library Rebecca. But i a a frequent visitor of the library, since can remember. I love ours It's over 100 years old. How beast that you were able to visit this one!
    Love Di

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  4. Welcome Home...you sound relaxed and renewed.

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  5. (from a Facebook Friend)...AND there was a Carnegie library in PawPaw my whole life. they outgrew it a few years back. they built a new one and the old one is a community center that can be rented out. it's beautiful and right in the center of town.

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  6. (and another Facebook Friend)...Did you all ever go to the one in Warsaw? (1 street over from the old jr hi in our day) It's still going and has been renovated and expanded over the years. We went over to get online when visiting a couple years ago.

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  7. Rebecca, Libraries are a gift to any community! They are building one just around the corner from my home, and I'm so excited!! You have such a beautiful one!! Thank you, Rebecca for all your prayers, warm words and precious friendship!!! It means so very much to me!! I'm feeling a little better today, and promise I'll be back as soon as I feel myself again!! Love to you~Janine XO

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  8. What a good question, Rebecca.
    We have libraries....a lot of them...but I will have to find out if we have a Carnegie one.

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Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)