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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Carnegie Public Library

Built in 1883, the Carnegie Public Library in Dunfermline, Scotland was the first public library established by Andrew Carnegie in his home town. Still located in its original building, the library has had two editions to make sure there is enough room to house all the materials. The first expansion took place in 1922 and the second in 1992. Carnegie originally donated 8,000 pounds for the building, which was not enough.

Today, the library is still a lending library with a learning center, 22 computers with free internet access to patrons, and a collections of over 59,700 books which includes fiction, nonfiction, audio, and large print books. There is also a children's section along with a teen/young adult section as well. The children's library area promotes a rhythm time for young children, craft sessions, and toddler sessions as well. "Circus Stars" is another program the library takes part of in the summer time. Currently this summer there are 139 children signed up. They are to read six books over their summer holiday.

There is also a large local history collection included in the library as well. Displays of local collections are always out in the room. There is a large collection of records and data compiled all the way from 1561, including birth and death records, and marriage records as well. A lot of photographs are also available in the library, usually donated by community members. Copies of the Dunfermline Journal dating from 1851-1950 are also available for patrons to look at. Local Council meeting minutes are also stored here. Maps of the town are also stored in the local history collection as well.

This was the last library we visited in Scotland. Again, just like in the other libraries here, the employees and staff were all very friendly and welcoming. Each and every place on this trip was very interested in local history and family history. It was an interesting contrast to see compared to the libraries and museums we visited in England. Seeing what is emphasized in each different place is interesting and made me think about the things libraries in the United States focus on.

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