Full confession, I have a passion or is it an obsession, with books. When we travel I love to explore libraries and bookstores. Growing up I spent many hours inside the walls of a Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh. Between 1886 and 1919, Andrew Carnegie’s donations of more than $40 million paid for 1,679 new library buildings in communities large and small across America. Today, in Las Vegas New Mexico, the library continues to be used as a library. Yeah!
When the libraries were first built, many were surrounded by a park. The Las Vegas building is Neo-Classic Revival and has been providing books to the community since 1903. The park and trees have survived and the square is surrounded by cottages, Queen Anne mansions, a church and school.
Sadly, the front entrance could use some renovations. Once you are inside, you can feel the love.
You’re greeted with a picture of the benefactor, Andrew Carnegie. The patron of these libraries stands out in the history of philanthropy. Carnegie was exceptional in part because of the scale of his contributions. He gave away $350 million, nearly 90 percent of the fortune he accumulated through the railroad and steel industries. Carnegie was also unusual because he supported such a variety of charities. His philanthropies included a Simplified Spelling Board, a fund that built 7,000 church organs, the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. Carnegie also stood out because some questioned his motivations for constructing libraries and criticized the methods he used to make the fortune that supported his gifts. (National Park Service). Generations have benefited from his generosity and public libraries have survived and are thriving today.
Adaptation is the key to survival. Walk into any library today and you will discover computers. Not everyone has access to the Internet and local community libraries offer this free service. In Tucson you have access to computers and also free Wi-Fi in all our libraries. The Wi-Fi is fast!
The entire basement is dedicated to the children of the community. Colorful rug for little ones to relax and enjoy story time. Tables and chairs to sit, read and explore the wonder of books.
This cozy nook to rock and read amazing adventures.
All these wonderful books surrounded by a beautiful park for community events and every day enjoyment. Thank you Las Vegas New Mexico for continuing the traditional of a Carnegie Library. Do you carry a library card? Please share with us your favorite library.