Hinds, Part 3
Andrew Carnegie and the Carnegie Foundation
Andrew Carnegie was born in Dunfermline, Scotland in 1835 where his father had helped to establish a tradesman’s subscription library. In 1848 the family left Dunfermline and moved to the United States and settled in Allegheny, Pennsylvania. He worked his way from bobbin boy to multi–millionaire in the steel industry. The social climate at the time in the Americas dictated that those who were fortunate enough to reap great financial rewards should share with the less fortunate members of the society, and so Carnegie joined many of his peers in the venture to use wealth for charitable purposes. Public libraries became the expression of his philanthropic endeavours. In 1881 his hometown, Dunfermline, Scotland was the first city to receive funds to build a library; in 1886, the first American city to receive a public library building grant was Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, his first home in America ; and in 1904, Barbados was the first English colony to receive one.
During the very early years of the twentieth century, requests for monies to build libraries were submitted to Carnegie at a rapid rate. After donating some additional building funds to towns in America, he decided to formalise the program. In 1911, the Carnegie Corporation, one of the first modern foundations, was established to administer the many library requests which were being submitted. In establishing this foundation, some changes to the original policy were instituted by his personal secretary, James Bertram, who was employed to deal with this project exclusively. Bertram fine–tuned the entire procedure. He now required those requesting funds to go through a series of steps which included answering a number of questions pertaining to the size of population of the town which the library would be serving; existing library infrastructure if any; and, number of books in the collection as well as circulation statistics. When monies were granted to build a library, Bertram even had a hand in the architectural rendition of the library. He devised a pamphlet entitled, “Notes on the Erection of Library buildings.” 
1. Abigail A. Van Slyck, Free to All: Carnegie Libraries & American Culture, 1890–1920 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995), xix.
2. Ibid., 11.
3. Ibid., 35.