Pippy commemorates library's 100th year
In July 1998, steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie
a grant of $200,000 for the erection of a public library in the borough
Last Tuesday, Rep. John Pippy (R-44) presented the Life Trustees at
library a citation on behalf of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
commemorating the library and its contributions to the community for the
past 100 years.
"Public libraries are essential to a cultured and civilized society,"
said Pippy. "In no other place can any one individual find such a wealth
information and have the ability to study historical events, broaden
horizons and experience the escapades of great men and fictional
characters. It is through these resources that we are challenged to dream
In a letter to William Hill, the first library board president and
George Hosack, board secretary, dated April 26, 1898, Andrew Carnegie
wrote, " I will spend $200,000 upon a fireproof building for a public
library and a high school, also $10,000 to furnish the first supply of
This letter was the culmination of more than five years of efforts by
Carnegie residents to secure the donation of a library from Andrew
and was in response to a March 31, 1898, letter from Hill and Hosack
asking Carnegie to consider the donation of a high school to the town.
Although Carnegie consented to the use of grant money for the
construction of a high school he suggested that it might be more valuable
to use part of the grant for construction of a "public hall," as was
constructed with libraries he funded for Braddock, Homestead and
An 800-seat music hall, patterned after Carnegie Hall in New York
was built adjacent to the library instead of a high school.
Copied transcripts of the original letters are on display at the
library. They can also be viewed at