When I started this library visitation project, I began reading a recent biography of Andrew Carnegie. It was a jumbo tome, 800 pages.
It’s not that I dislike reading. Au contraire!
It’s that the book was dry and boring, like a Wasa cracker. There were no great revelations about little Andy (yes, he was a short man and careful not to be photographed standing next to tall people).
The book gave me no insights into his soul. Nothing revealed what made him such a generous philanthropist. He did enjoy seeing his byline in the newspaper and on the spine of books, though. He was a frequent contributor to a number of newspapers of his time. He wrote an autobiography and also a book he called The Gospel of Wealth.
I stopped reading at page 500. I’d had enough. His libraries would have to speak for themselves.
Andrew Carnegie haunted me as I made my way to nine (count ’em, NINE) Carnegie Libraries in the state of Maine a few weeks ago. Each library I visited had his picture displayed somewhere in the library.
That’s Andrew and me in the Children’s Room at the Cary Library in Houlton. Notice how much taller Carnegie is than me and all the Teddy bears? It was haunting, I tell you.
The trip was wonderful. Every Mainer should be required to visit Aroostook County at least once in their life. I’ll tell you more about it next week now that I’m back in the saddle. If you’d like to read a 48 hour overview of the trip, you can click here for the summary I wrote for my personal blog.
Snow, sandwiches, coffee, and a whole lot more. The County. It’s not just about potatoes.