A Conversation for Ask h2g2

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 1


Is there, or was there, a Carnegie Library near where you live?

Tell me all about it!


Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 2

lil ~ Auntie Giggles

Hi BB,

As mentioned elsewhere, we have a building which used to house the Carnegie Library in Ellesmere Port. I will try to find out more about it. I have to go offline for now smiley - smiley

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 3

Gnomon - time to move on

There are two buildings that were Carnegie Libraries with two miles of where I live.

In Dundrum, Dublin, the Carnegie Library was taken over by the Dublin County Library which looks after all the libraries in the county outside of the city. The building is two storey, with adult books downstairs, children's and reference upstairs. It is an elegant building although built out of the grey concrete of the 1930s, and has a nice elliptical window over the door.

There are plans to move the library out of the building and to make it into a Garda (Police) Station, but these plans have been put on hold because of the recession.

The other Carnegie Library is a much smaller affair at Lamb's Cross. It has now become a community centre, and they built a much bigger glass construction onto the side of the old library building.

The GoogleMaps image is before the giant extension was done:


Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 4

Happy Nerd

Hey, BB. smiley - smiley Are you doing an Entry?

Yes there is. No longer a library but a historical building, plaque and everything, so kept as is. Tiny for a library, it has an imposing architectural style that seems a little out of place for its size. Currently the office of a local realtor.

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni

What a great idea for an entry. smiley - biggrin

I grew up in Pittsburgh, so our Carnegie Library was the one in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, near the University of Pittsburgh and at the time, across the way from Forbes Field, a famous baseball stadium. It's a grand old building. I used to get to go there on weekends with a friend's mother, whose hobby was trying to prove that she was descended from a knight in William the Conqueror's retinue. smiley - whistle The genealogy section was a cool place. I saw my first photocopy device there.

One facinating aspect of the Pittsburgh library was that it had closed stack areas. We weren't used to that in the US, since the usual approach was open stacks everywhere except special collections. If you wanted a book from the closed stacks, you had to fill out a request slip and put it in a little box on the librarian's desk, then go sit down. The librarian would pick up your slip, inspect it, then push a button. In a few minutes, a library worker would come out and pick up the slip, disappear into the back, and return with your book. You had to watch all this and go up to claim your book from the desk, silently.

The whole place had a sort of steampunk quality.

The shady parking area was between the library and Forbes Field. Once, my dad took us to a ball game. The attendant told him there was a charge to park there for the game.

'But we're going to the library,' my dad joked.

'Oh, library patrons don't have to pay.'

My dad, chagrined, apologised and paid up.

Here's a link to some history of the Pittsburgh library:


Here are some images you might like:


(That's me in the corner. smiley - tongueincheek)

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 6

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Massachusetts has 43 public libraries that were built from 35 grants by the Carnegie Foundation between 1901 and 1917. Some towns have more than one such building. Worcester, for instance, has three Carnegie branch libraries. In Springfield, the main library and three branch libraries are Carnegie libraries. The other towns with carnegie libraries are: Ashland, Athol, Berkley, Brockton, Chelsea, Clinton, Dighton, Edgartown, Granby, Holliston, Hudson, Lakeville, Lee, leominster, Lynn [2], Marlborough [which burned sometime in the 1960s], Melrose, Millbury, Needham, New Marlborough, Revere, Rockland, Rockport, Saugus, Sharon, Somerville [3 branch libraries], South Hadley, Springfield, [4], Stoneham, Taunton, Turners Falls, Walpole, Springfield [3], Worcester [3].

The ones I've spent time in are:


In addition, there are Carnegie library buildings at the following five colleges:

Mount Holyoke

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 7

TRiG (Ireland) A dog, so bade in office

The Carnegie Libraries had an interesting history in Ireland. There were objections to bringing foreign thoughts into the country. There's an interesting section on their history in the book The Curious Case of the Mayo Librarian. (And that story would be an interesting subject for an Entry itself.)

I don't know of any Carnegie Library near me.

TRiG.smiley - book

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 8


I'm thinking about doing a collaborative entry – if we can get enough information about Carnegie Libraries from the community, and their memories of the libraries they've been to. At the moment I'm gathering information and seeing how it goes from there.

My home town of Sandown, Isle of Wight has a Carnegie Library. It used to house the dinosaur museum on the first floor.The Isle of Wight Council have wished to close Sandown Library. Although it is run by the council, as it is a Carnegie Library the terms of the grant show that if the library ever closes, the building reverts to the ownership of the Carnegie Foundation. So the council dare not close the library smiley - book

Dmitri provided this link.

I read somewhere that Carnegie Libraries often had steps to the front door, as well as having two separate wings, one for adults and one for children, with the librarian desk between them near the entrance/exit. Sandown's library fits into this plan (although the wings were fiction and non-fiction when I was there). Does the library/libraries you know fit that plan? Gnomon's picture shows no steps outside – but what is the interior like?


Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 9

lil ~ Auntie Giggles

I've found this:

Neston is the last remaining Carnegie library in Cheshire.

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 10


What an interesting project, Bluebottle.
I thought "nah" but did a search, just in case:

Though he never visited or lived in New Zealand, ... Andrew Carnegie left a lasting impression on the country. As part of his policy ... he was responsible for funding 18 library buildings in New Zealand. After his death in 1919 the Carnegie Corporation ... continued to contribute to the development of New Zealand's library service, most notably in the 1930s and 40s.

Fairlie, Hokitika, Greymouth, Levin and Cambridge were among the 18 erected in New Zealand. Carnegie libraries were also built in Balclutha, Gore, Dunedin, Alexandra, Timaru, Westport, Dannevirke, Marton, New Plymouth, Hastings, Thames, Hamilton and Onehunga.

Twelve of the buildings remain today ... Balclutha and Marton are the only two to continue to operate as libraries. ... In a 2005 National Geographic article on ‘Carnegie’s legacy’, Kerry Rodgers noted that this proportion (11%) compares favourably to the proportion that continued to operate as libraries in the United States (3.5%).

The above from one site:


Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 11

Mu Beta

There's a carnage library near us.

It's full of drunk men being beaten up and girls with tiny skirts vomiting on the pavement.

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 12

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

"There's a carnage library near us. It's full of drunk men being beaten up and girls with tiny skirts vomiting on the pavement"[Mu Beta]

Now, there's a cheerful thought! smiley - biggrin

How are carnage libraries different from Carnegie Libraries?

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 13

Icy North

I'm keen to understand how vomiting young ladies constitutes 'carnage', but I'm conscious we may already have drifted a little too far

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 14

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

smiley - sadface

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 15

clzoomer- a bit woobly

Ours is mostly a drop-in centre but the library part is still there.


Sadly it is right in the middle of what is referred to as the poorest postal code in North America, the Downtown Eastside.


Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 16

clzoomer- a bit woobly

One more time?


I hope that works, there may be some kind of block on it.

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 17

clzoomer- a bit woobly

OK, a photo?


That works.

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 18

paulh, not fond of Lord Mudpants

Is the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver?

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 19

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - bigeyes
>> That works. <<

Sites that have the latest security have an SSSSSSSSS
after the http. Your original had httpsssssss:

Part of the SSSSSecurity coding means they can't be copied
and pasted to an email or chatroom posting as workable links.

Readers can however copy from the posting and paste into
their address bar. Copy - Paste - Enter.

smiley - cheers

Is there a Carnegie Library near you?

Post 20

~ jwf ~ scribblo ergo sum

smiley - bigeyes
>> Is the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver? <<

Yep, it's the oldest part of the old town
facing the Fraser River and the harbour
where originally the town grew up around
a skid road - a mud and greased-lumber track
like a boat launching ramp - which was used
to roll timber into the river or haul heavy
goods ashore.

Portland Oregon and other west coast US towns
also had skid roads for the same purposes. Every
one of them claims to have originated the expression
Skid Row and all romanticise the pioneering lumber
origins of the skid roads without accounting for the
lowering social and economic status.

Vis: As this skid technology was superceded by proper
wharfs and cranes the original area was allowed to fall
into disuse and the nearby housing became run-down and
attracted a poorer class of people - hobos, drunks, broken
gold prospectors, Orientals, hookers and addicts. These
areas became known as Skid Rows and that term was
adopted in most cities where depressed and abandoned
properties attracted a similar demographic. People who
were going bankrupt especially as result of alcoholism
or drug addiction were said to be 'on the skids'.
smiley - drunk

When the TransContinental Railway was completed the
Vancouver Terminus was located right downtown in the
still then fashionable Eastside. Chinatown - where I
keep telling clzoomer to retire and contemplate Life -
was for many years a four-six square block nearby.
smiley - zen
He'll be along shortly to correct me. My memories are
42 years old and somewhat blurred by time and selective

smiley - ok

Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more