A week ago today I flew back home from Pittsburgh where I visited Sunny for a week. If I’d documented everything I did in pictures you’d be bored: I spent a lot of time indoors studying. We did get to go out a few times, though.
This edition of Check Out features a library on the opposite end of the modernity spectrum from the Seattle Central Library. Behold: the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (main branch in Oakland).
Try to stay awake during this bit of history: In 1890, Andrew Carnegie offered the city of Pittsburgh $1 million to build a library. Let your brain gnaw on that for a second…a million dollars in 1890. That’s a lot of money. Five years later, he dedicated this branch. But Andrew Carnegie didn’t stop there. He funded the construction of many libraries across the United States. So, when someone says, “that’s a Carnegie library,” they’re talking about a library for which Carnegie provided the money to build. He had nothing to do with the actual operations of the libraries…he just believed that Americans should have access to them. Pretty nice!
Back to the CLP. The first floor has a Crazy Mocha cafe, a kid’s reading room, and new books. You can take an elevator to the upper floors, or walk up the marble stairs that have warped with age. Your food and drinks have to stay on the first floor, sadly. My memory is a little hazy, but I think I only explored the second floor and the mezzanine after the first floor. The portion of the second floor that I saw has a reference area, a career center, some cool old tables, if you’re into that. If you can find your way to the mezzanine, you’ll find even more nonfiction crammed onto shelves, between which you might need to walk sideways.
Like I mentioned before, I spent a lot of time here in March while working on a project for my reference class. Now that I’m writing up this post, I’m realizing that I have a lot more left to explore. Hopefully I’ll go out there again and write up a Part II for this post.
Image credit: Wikipedia