New England Carnegies

A site that honors the libraries that Andrew Carnegie helped to fund

Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Carnegie Visit Worcester, Massachusetts

March 26, 1913

As reported in the Worcester Daily Telegram, Wednesday, March 26, 1913:

  Andrew Carnegie is expected in Worcester at 2:12 p.m. today, and Mrs. Carnegie will be with him, according to word received by the committee directing the sestablishment [sic] of three branch libraries in Worcester. The first and only view of the multi-millionaire giver of libraries will be had by thousands of Worcesterites, today.

  Mr. Carnegie’s stay will be short, his plan being to leave Worcester at 5:02 p.m.

  It is hoped by the committee from the library and the representative committee of citizens, headed by Mayor Wright, that there will be time for entertaining the canny Scotchman and his good wife at luncheon at the Worcester club.

  The laying of the cornerstone of the branch libraries which will be on Southbridge street, at Quinsigamond and at Greendale, made possible by Mr. Carnegie’s gift, with the donation of land by Worcester people and library maintenance by the city government. is [sic] the ceremony at which he will officiate. He will use a silver trowel made for the occasion.

  The laying of the stones will be quickly and simply done and the committee plans no elaborate reception or program. The presence of the great man is in itself considered the biggest attraction that Worcester will have had in a long time.

  The problem of supplying the thousands of Worcester readers with the books they avidiously desire was a knotty one to Librarian Robert Kendall Shaw till the proposition came to make Worcester a beneficiary as other cities are, th[r]ough the generosity of the great iron master.

  The city government agreed to pay 10 per cent of the gift each year for the maintenance of the branches. Mr. Carnegie gave $25,000 for each library branch, $75,000 in all, and the city will pay $7500 a year.

  Worcester students at Simmons college, in the library course, and others with ambition to act as librarians or assistants, look forward to a wide field now within their own home city, when the branch positions will have to be filled.

  It is expected that the system of management followed at the main library, on Elm street, which gives much satisfaction and is considered quite up to date, will dominate the branches, also.

  Prof. Zelotes W. Coombs is chairman of the library directors and has the general supervision of the plans for today.

  He and the other members of the library board, Frank Roe Batchelder, Hon. Philip J. O’Connell, Dr. Frank P. Barnard and Chandler Bullock, with Librarian emeritus Samuel S. Green, and the representative committee, including ex-Mayor James Logan, W.S. Doane, president of the board of aldermen, and Charles A. Harrington, president of the common council, have arranged for an informal reception by the people and for police protection.

  The women whose delightful duty it will be to accompany Mrs. Carnegie about the city, are Mrs. Wright, Mrs. Logan, Mrs. Shaw, and Miss Ellen W. Coombs.

  During the visit of Mr. and Mrs. Carnegie this afternoon all the departments of the public library will close for 1 ½ hours, from 1 to 3:30 o’clock, to give the employees the opportunity to see the visitors.


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