Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Carnegie Library


According to the plaque in front of the building, it served this area from its completion in 1915 until the current library was opened down the street in 1989. That's a lot of years for an initial investment of $1,000, and brought to simple rural communities something we take for granted - open stacks for citizens to freely browse and borrow at will. Librarians are heroes in the battle to keep information available to everyone, preserving democracy even in the face of efforts to create an imperial regime.

Few examples of this ornate and monumental building style survive in Willits. Today it houses the local community cable channel, which is funded by the contract with the regional commercial cable provider. Among other things, they televise city council meetings and event calendars. One corner of the structure also holds the KZYZ community radio studio, a "satellite" of the main studios of KZYX over in Philo, extending the reach and participation of far flung populations in their public radio station.

12 comments:

Abraham Lincoln said...

I am happy that you recongnized Andrew Carnegie or the Carnegie family for their work in donating library buildings or the funds to build them, as my other hometown, home of Annie Oakley, has one that is now empty. The books are in an old store while the new library is being built. I have no idea what this one will end up housing but the memories of the past books and people who visited there will last longer than anything they put in it from now on.

This is a nice post and brought back memories of the first library where I had to pay a fine for an overdue book.

Jim said...

Very cool. The header photo on my blog is of the old Carnegie Libary in Terrell. Ours is now a museum.

Afyonkarahisar said...

Hi,
Very cool. Nice photo.
Thank you.

marley said...

Thanks for your visit to Cheltenham. I love your photos :)

crittoria said...

What an impressive entrance!

Kym said...

The Carnegie Library in Eureka is now an extraordinary and beautiful museum. Amazing that the buildings keep living on in new incarnations. Maybe we should worry less about form following function and more about how beauty stands the test of time.

Knoxville Girl said...

I'm so glad that this building has been preserved and used for community activity, even if it's not the library anymore. For all our talk of a paperless/wired society, the library is still that physical "third place" where the community can come together to share ideas. And as a librarian myself, don't even get me started on homeland security. (off soapbox now) :-)

USelaine said...

Knoxville Girl - spoken like a true hero.

Kym - I've been to that museum, and I agree it's beautiful. This building is much smaller, but still dignified.

Benjamin Madison said...

We also have a romanesque (?) Carnegie Library building here in Victoria. The Public Library is now housed in a much larger building and the Carnegie building is occupied by some kind of investment firm. I don't know much about Carnegie (Andrew?) except that he was a great American philanthropist who built these libraries all over North America.

Jules said...

How wonderful - what a priceless resource. I could lose myself in there for days!!!

Ham said...

Carnegie spanned the world....

Petrea said...

You did post a picture of it! It's beautiful.

Andrew Carnegie was indeed a hero, even more than I had thought, as Ham's link and post have now informed me (thank you, Ham). And you, uselaine, are a woman after my own heart. Thanks for championing learning and free speech from your blog.

I wonder if the web can be used to spread education and free speech in somewhat the same way as Carnegie did it? It seems to me such a potentially powerful tool if we use it right.