Since I learned to read I’ve been an avid visitor to libraries. Who could fail to be fascinated by buildings full of books? One of my earliest memories is going up the steep steps to the library in Kendal – and later on, when I discovered it was one of over 2,500 built around the world, funded by one man, I had to find out more.
I found out lots about the Carnegie legacy in other countries by browsing the web – and share some of those references elsewhere on this site, but I’ve found very little information about those built in England, so for about the last 10 years I’ve been accumulating information – first by ferreting around on the web, and then by visiting many of the libraries I’ve discovered.
[Update: was delighted to read recently that I’m not the only one with a Carnegie curiosity: Sam Weller is exploring them in the US: A cross country mission to track down Carnegie libraries, and George Christensen has included some fascinating posts in his blog – which is primarily about following the Tour de France, but he also cycles great distances to visit Carnegie libraries!]
The main body of posts on this site will relate to individual libraries in England, but I’ll also post on the ones I’ve visited elsewhere in the world. Some will be sketchier than others, but I’ll revisit as I discover more information – this is a project that could easily go on for another 10 years……
And about me? I studied librarianship, and spent the first 10 years or so of my career working in libraries, but then increasingly spent more time developing electronic resources and training others to use the web and social media. In 2015 I moved back into the library world – working for the Libraries Taskforce, which has given my research a boost as I’ve had the opportunity to visit lots more libraries around England.
NOTE: All photos included in this site were taken by me, unless otherwise indicated. I’ve also included scans of postcards from my collection.