Libraries have always played an important role in my life. One of my happiest memories from childhood is the day that I received my very own library card. For the last two decades, I’ve had the good fortune to live in a historic small town that has an equally historic library. Established in 1760 as a subscription library, the Newtown Library Company is one on the earliest public librarues in the United States. It’s been in continuous operation for 261 years, with the exception of a few months during the Revolutionary War when British troops occupied the town. The current library building only dates from 1912, but it’s as quaint and welcoming a library as you will find anywhere in North America.
The infographic below offers a comprehensive look at the evolution of the library of the centuries.
Just thought I’d give a shout out for the Carnegie Libraries
A Carnegie library is a library built with money donated by Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. A total of 2,509 Carnegie libraries were built between 1883 and 1929, including some belonging to public and university library systems. 1,689 were built in the United States, 660 in the United Kingdom and Ireland, 125 in Canada, and others in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Serbia, Belgium, France, the Caribbean, Mauritius, Malaysia, and Fiji.
We have a really lovely one in Cathays in Cardiff, Wales.