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June 25, 2008



Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I especially enjoyed your appreciation of Carnegie and his legacy. Indeed, I loved the time I spent in the library (the Main Library, on Forbes St.) and the museum connected to it.
Interesting, though, now that I think of it: I've never seen a Carnegie Library in New England. Maybe because town athenaeums were a way of life here early on? Fun to consider.

Ada Roelke

I spent hours in the big grey library on Salina St. in Syracuse N.Y. as a girl. I recall there were locked bookcases, and I always wanted to read those books, but wasn't allowed, much to my indignation. Never went back once I was in high school and college where the library was open to all. At Syracuse University I recall wandering thru the stacks, and feeling as though I had entered wonderland.

John Rainwater

Sweet Memories! I was very young and I would walk to the Carnegie Library in Corsicana, Texas. (About 6 years of age) I can remember walking up to those big steps and those huge columns and right on in to the second floor all by myself. There were special days where someone would read books to us. What a wonderful experience and then when we moved back to Fort Worth, Texas the Carnegie Library was always a special place. I remember so many books! It was so hard to decide which book to check out.
Don't know about his business practices but the libraries really made a big impression on one little boy. Corsicana, Texas was kind of like the town in "To Kill A Mockingbird" and they sure do make good fruit cakes!
Thanks for the story!
John Rainwater. Monticello, Florida

Raymond Maxwell

Every Saturday my father took my sister and I to the Carnegie Negro Library housed on the Bennett College campus in Greensboro, NC. It was the highlight of our week. Eventually, with the end of segregation, the Carnegie Negro Library became the southeast branch of the Greensboro Public Library and moved to another building, but I think the original building still stands on Bennett's campus.

Elizabeth Sproul

I lived in Clay Center, Kansas from 1950-1954, my high school years. I spent many hours in the Carnegie Library there. It is still there. We still go to Clay Center about every 3 months. I was an honor student. That library helped.

Cheryl Conway

Our county, San Luis Obispo, CA, is blessed to have two Carnegie Libraries. In the City of San Luis Obispo, the library has been restored and maintained and serves as the County Historical Museum. - a truly worthy use for such a venerable building. In Paro Robles, CA, the library was built in the middle of the downtown park and served as the working library until it was damaged in the San Simeon earthquake several years ago. While it will no longer serve as a library, the building is being restored and will continue to serve the people of Paso Robles and both buildings serve as a reminder of the importance of books, reading, and libraries to the citizens of our beautiful county.

Jenifer Gile

I also grew up in Pittsburgh, and the Central Branch of the Carnegie Library was an important part of my young life. As a small child, I frequently visited the library on Sundays, where my Great Aunt Claire regularly conducted the children's "Story Hour." An itinerant librarian, she traveled to several other branches during a typical work week. As an elementary school student (5th - 8th grades), I attended Saturday art classes at the adjacent Carnegie Institute. After class, and before taking the trolley home, my friends and I would stop by the library and each take out our weekly limit of books -- quite an armful, as I remember. As a young teenager, my aunt kept me in pocket money by bringing home maxed-out book jacket cards for copying in my best printmanship -- no computerized borrowers' records in those days!. Eventually, I went to Carnegie Mellon University, as did my husband and, much later, our son, so the legacy of Andrew Carnegie lives on in our family, although, alas, none of us became librarians, just inveterate book lovers.

Joihn Miller

I noticed the comment in the article about the library in Cambridge, Ohio I grew up about 70 miles away in Parkersburg, WV. In the 1950's I practically lived in our Carnegie Library. It was big and ornate with a beautiful spiral staircase that took me to multiple levels filled with books filled with great adventures. The city eventually built a larger more modern library but the old building still stands and is the home for a very large used book store. As I read your article I could smell the mix of cool air and thousands of books and it brought back many pleasant memories.

Betty Thomas

When I was a kid, Saturday meant Library Day! My mom would take me to the Carnegie Library in College Station, Texas, and I'd always check out the maximum number of books allowed (10). I remember acres of cool marble, heavy dark wooden tables, and steps that echoed when crossing the enormous rooms. I usually had finished three or four of the books in the car before we got home. Funnily enough, we now live in the town of Carnegie (a Pittsburgh suburb, named after you-know-who) and I've learned to pronounce it the way the locals do: CarNEGie.

Diana Raabe

I, too, was one of those children who spent many hours at the local library.

I think Carnegie can be remembered for many things, both positive and negative; that is, as Les Standiform points out, positive or negative - relatively speaking.

Donna Guiliano

Carnegie built a beautiful Mission Revival style library here in Riverside CA in 1903. By the mid 1960's it was seen as outdated, torn down and replaced with a New Formalism style library, big box, no windows, with concrete screens in front of it. Now it is time to expand the "ugly box" library and people are lamenting the loss of the beautiful Carnegie library.

Lisa Edwards

As a child, I visited my grandparents for several weeks each summer in Ballinger, Texas. I spent many hours in the air conditioned Carnegie Library -- I can still remember the wonderful smell! Also, this particular library had an auditorium on the third floor where we held a talent show each year during our Family Reunion. We no longer gather as a family, but I'll never forget the so-called "talent" that was on display. So many good memories of the old Carnegie Library...

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