Feb. 24, 2014
As I am in the preliminary stages of my final project on Carnegie Libraries in the U.S., I’ve found a variety of online and print resources that are worth further investigation. As I keep collecting these sources in Zotero, taking notes, and trying to visualize my still murky final product, I thought I should share these sources for other scholars to use.
The history of Carnegie Libraries is a topic that connects personally with anyone who has an appreciation for modern libraries. It has been written about in books and journals, as well as newspapers and websites. One of my favorite quotes about libraries comes from Andrew Carnegie himself:
A library outranks any other one thing a community can do to benefit its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.
Some of these websites are better than others, in terms of graphic design.1 I find some of the color choices and layouts distracting from the informational content.
The history of Carnegie Libraries is a topic that connects personally with anyone who has an appreciation for modern libraries.
If a website is unpleasant to view, the odds that someone will want to continue reading it are low. However, there are some websites out there that are well-designed, but they are in the minority. For those interested in the architecture of Carnegie Libraries, Google Images and Flickr will retrieve a mix of images, from photographs to old postcards of Carnegie Libraries across the country. Credit must be given to the original photographs if you decide to use them, just like you would any other primary source.
As I keep thinking about what I want to accomplish with my final project, I feel that I have too many ideas and need to rein it in a bit. I was considering something involving an illustrated map pinpointing the locations of Carnegie Libraries and incorporating the corresponding illiteracy rates that were documented in the US Census until the 1950s.2 I have little experience with GIS so I am not sure if that is the best tool to use or not, but I am planning on attending a workshop on using the software next week at the library. Hopefully the workshop will help me to focus what I want my final project to look like.