Carnegie Libraries Of Ohio: Our Cultural Heritage
Andrew Carnegie is the stuff of library legend. A Scottish-American philanthropist and visionary, he donated much of his vast fortune to build libraries all over the world. But Carnegie wasn’t always wealthy. He received little formal education, leaving school at the age of twelve to work in a textile factory and later worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a telegraph operator. During that time he met Colonel James Anderson, a man who would open his personal library on Saturdays for Carnegie to borrow a book. It was this access to information that made Andrew Carnegie vow to donate money to libraries if he ever had the chance.
He would get that chance after building his own company, Carnegie Steel, from the ground up, which he eventually sold to J.P. Morgan for over $400 million, making him the richest man in the world at the time. The bulk of that wealth would go toward financing the construction of countless public and academic libraries.
From the late 1800s through the 1920s, over 1,500 libraries were built with Carnegie money in the United States, as well as many more internationally. 111 Carnegie libraries were built in the state of Ohio alone, Lakewood Public Library being one of them.
The Library has changed a lot over the years, but we’re still proud of the fact that we began our life as a Carnegie library. Join us as Author Mary Ellen Armentrout explores the history, the architecture, and the personalities behind Ohio’s fine collection of Carnegie buildings in this illustrated lecture, based on her fascinating book, Carnegie Libraries of Ohio: Our Cultural Heritage. All library programs are free and open to the public.
Sunday, October 14 at 2 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium