The "Friends and Foundation of the Northfield Public Library" (FFNPL) is a non-profit, community-based organization since 1983 that supports the Northfield Public Library. In cooperation with the Northfield Public Library, FFNPL supports early literacy programs, recruits volunteers, provides support for equipment in the Library such as computers and eBook readers, and organizes special events including fundraising trivia bees, concerts, speakers and book readings.
Wednesday, November 25th is American steel magnate Andrew Carnegie’s 180th birthday. Northfield and about 3,000 other communities have Mr. Carnegie to thank for our public libraries. If you would like to give a gift in memory of Andrew Carnegie, 2015 cash and stock donations and pledges for 2016 and 2017 are welcome. Donors who give before December 31, 2015 will find their names on the donor wall in the renovated library.
As Garrison Keillor tells it in the Writer’s Almanac on November 25th, Carnegie “came to this country as a teenager and took a job in a factory in Pittsburgh. He wanted to educate himself, but while there were public libraries at the time, you had to pay an annual fee to become a member. Carnegie wrote a letter to the editor of the Pittsburgh Dispatch, arguing that poor people should be given free access to libraries so that they could improve themselves. The director of Carnegie’s local library read the letters, and it persuaded him to change the rule.”
Carnegie, with the help of his local library, got a job as a railroad telegrapher and within 11 years, he was a vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He then started his own steel company, which he sold after 10 years. The rest is history from which we all continue to benefit. Thank you, Mr. Carnegie, and happy birthday!