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Monroe County’s Carnegie Library Celebrates 100 Years Since Dedication

The building first housed the county’s public library, and was repurposed in 1980 as the Monroe County History Center. (Alex Eady, WFIU/WTIU News)

Monroe County’s Carnegie Library is celebrating its centennial anniversary.

The Bloomington landmark was dedicated in 1918 in the name of Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish philanthropist well-known for his success in the American steel industry.

Dana Duffy is a Community Engagement Librarian with the Monroe County Public Library. She says the building first housed the county’s public library, and was repurposed in 1980.

“To transfer it to a historical center I think makes perfect sense because it’s a historical building and it’s a building that reflects the community,” she says.

Duffy says Carnegie invested in thousands of public libraries across the country, creating a lasting legacy that has been preserved through the center for years.

“You’re not giving thing’s away, you are providing for people to make their own path and I think that was probably his legacy,” she says.

Indiana has more Carnegie libraries than any other state with 164 libraries in 155 communities.

Members of the Bloomington community came to the center for an educational presentation on the Carnegie library’s history. (Alex Eady, WFIU/WTIU News)

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