Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

Celebrating Carnegie's 175th

Posted by Larry T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
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on Thursday, February 18, 2010 in Carnegie libraries
stamp-us-baraboo-72b.jpgNovember 25, 2010 will be the 175th anniversary of the birth of Andrew Carnegie. This is a great year to celebrate Carnegie's legacy to the sixty Wisconsin communities and two academic institutions that benefited from library building grants from Carnegie. If a Carnegie building is part of your library's heritage, why not highlight that legacy during this year.  How about a Carnegie birthday during the week of November 25 (Thanksgiving Day) or on some other date that is significant to your library's Carnegie experience.  Take advantage of National Library Week to highlight Carnegie's legacy. Find out about the story of how your community got its Carnegie grant and the subsequent history of the building and try to get an article about the building in your local media. Locate artifacts and photographs that can be used to help tell your Carnegie story. This can be done even if the Carnegie building in your community has been razed. Put your Carnegie story on your blog and/or website. Create an exhibit in the library using artifacts, archives, and photographs. See if you can find souvenir items such as postcards and china items for your exhibit. Postcards are relatively easy to come by on eBay. You may also be able to purchase images of your Carnegie building from the Wisconsin Historical Society. Arrange with your local post office to have a special postmark created to mark your special occasion related to Carnegie. You can even create a postage stamp depicting your Carnegie building (the Baraboo Carnegie building is depicted above). Of course, even if you don't have a Carnegie building you can celebrate your library's heritage around its prior buildings or prior librarians. The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center has an exhibit of Wisconsin library memorabilia that may be available to assist you in your celebration. Contact Larry Nix at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to explore this possibility. More on Wisconsin's Carnegie library buildings can be found HERE.

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