Carnegie Library

More than 2,500 Carnegie libraries were built, including some belonging to public and university library systems. Carnegie earned the nickname Patron Saint of Libraries. Of the 2,509 such libraries funded between 1883 and 1929, 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in Britain and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, New Zealand, Serbia, the Caribbean, and Fiji. Very few towns that requested a grant and agreed to his terms were refused. When the last grant was made in 1919, there were 3,500 libraries in the United States, nearly half of them built with construction grants paid by Carnegie. Beginning in the late 19th century, women's clubs organized in the United States, and were critical in identifying the need for libraries, as well as organizing for their construction and long-term financial support through fundraising and lobbying government bodies. Women's clubs were instrumental in the founding of 75-80 percent of the libraries in the United States. Carnegie's grants were catalysts for library construction based on organizing by women's clubs.

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