Motivation and Method

At six years old I visited my first Carnegie Library in my hometown of Minot, North Dakota. I had no idea about Andrew Carnegie's contribution to building libraries in our country. . .and I didn't care. . .I was enthralled with the sight of ALL those books and the possibility of reading and reading and reading! I proudly applied for, received my library card and checked out my first library book, Little Black Sambo.

I now know that Carnegie founded 1,689 libraries across our country in the late 19th and early 20th century. One of his goals is stated "Free to the people."

GET and I started full time RVing in 1994 and, in the course of our travels to the 50 states, realized that many of these architecturally unique buildings are still standing; many are even still libraries while others have been re-purposed into such uses as art centers, museums, law offices, etc. I got serious searching them out when I bought my first digital camera in 2000.

In this blog I will be sharing my visits and photographs. After my visit I usually write a narrative which I will include in this blog.

A little about how I go about this hobby:
I use the state by state list found in Theodore Jones "Carnegie Libraries Across America: a public legacy" book. Also, I researched
National List of Historic Places to find those with that designation.
When we are traveling through a state I highlight our map book with the towns and cities which have a Carnegie Library. Even though I don't have addresses for most, they are easy to spot since they were built near the center of town and are architecturally distinct.
Then we pull off the highway and wander til we spot the library. Keep in mind we are towing a large 5th wheel RV so are quite conspicuous in small towns. If there is no parking for our 53' I jump out to do my thing and Gary circles through the town.
If the building is open I go in for a visit; if not, I am content to take pictures of the exterior and through any window and door I can find.
A very casual and loose approach but fun.

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