The Carnegie Foundation is an interesting story. How Andrew Carnegie distributed his wealth throughout the world to enhance the arts and education through literacy programs that funded libraries!
My blog has taken a few twists in finding literacy places, and Andrew Carnegie’s library legacy is a huge chapter in American Literacy and Libraries.
I happen to work in Sheldon, so coming upon this next Carnegie Library was a treat for me to take pictures and learn about its history. The library in Sheldon secured the last grant for funding a library in Iowa. The story is printed on the side of the historic building in down town Sheldon:
What’s even more interesting with the Carnegie Library landing its last library in Sheldon in 1908, the Library existed long before, and had its collection well before the library was officially built, in 1894 and is further documented on the corner stone of the building pictured in the second picture below.
Here are a few more exterior pics of the Sheldon Carnegie Library:
The building was converted into offices for Area Education Agency after the new library was build across the street in 1969, but following the short time as offices, the building was abandoned for a year in 1975, and became the home for the Prairie Museum in 1976.
The building’s exterior architecture itself was interesting, but the interior with it’s domed ceiling and wood work is what made it unique in my opinion. You can clearly see the inspiration coming from the roman-baroque type architecture mentioned in the above text. Beautiful, bold, and definitely classy!
Even though the Sheldon Carnegie Library is no longer the home of the Sheldon Public Library, it still holds a piece of history holding most of the historical artifacts of the community, and for the building still existing and not being razed, the community and historical society deserves credit for its preservation and usage today.
It’s worth a stop as a museum if you are in the area and it’s open on Thursdays 1:00-4:00 p.m. during weekdays.
And…if you find yourself not exploring the literary world, hopefully you have time to discover a good book!