Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Carnegie Library Lists by State

I was recently surprised to find that a category entitled "Lists of Carnegie libraries in the United States by state" has been added to Wikipedia. There is a list for every state that received a grant from Andrew Carnegie or the Carnegie Corporation of New York for a library building. The lists are compiled from George S. Bobinski's Carnegie Libraries (ALA, 1969), Theodore Jones' Carnegie Libraries Across America (John Wiley & Sons, 1997), and publications from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. The lists include academic libraries as well as public libraries. Some of the lists such as the one for Alabama include color coding indicating whether the Carnegie building is still in use as a library, is still standing but now serving another purpose, or is no longer standing. The Alabama list and some others also include images of some of the buildings. Some lists such as the one for California include notes that give more information about the building and its current status. Most lists which are in table form just give the basic information about the building which is given in Bobinski's book, the date and amount of the original grant. The tables are set up so all lists can eventually include all elements as information is added. It is unclear who is behind this effort and who is adding information to the lists. This is an excellent idea especially if full information including the current status of the buildings can be added to all the lists. There are other state lists of Carnegie libraries on the Internet including the one maintained by the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center for Wisconsin. The photo above shows the Columbus Public Library in Columbus, Wisconsin. It is a Carnegie building still in use as a library with an addition.

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