This month the Belen Public Library has started on it's 83rd year of operation. Located at 333 Becker Avenue in Belen, in an almost new and impressive building, it's director, Debbie Graham, is justly proud of the library's changes over the years. It was started as a project of the Belen Women's Club in 1927 and became the Belen Public Library in 1966. Now it has grown to include computers and other electronic means of communications and education. It is open to all comers who want to learn some specific facts or just enjoy reading some novels or other books. As a young boy I spent countless hours -days on end- at the local library and received a far wider range of knowledge that was being presented at school. For that I thank Andrew Carnegie.
Andrew Carnegie, born in Dunfermline, Scotland, was a great industrialist and an imaginative thinker, can be considered as the founder of the modern public library. He espoused the philosophy that those with great wealth use what was in excess of their personal needs to better the lives of others. Putting his money where his mouth was, in 1881 he started spending $56,000,000 to establish 2,509 libraries in the English speaking world. IMHO he should have a national holiday named for him, either on his birthday (28 November 1865), or on the anniversary of his death in Lenox, Massachusetts, on 11 August 1919. It would be much better to honor a man who has helped educate the world than some tweedle-dum tweedle-dee politician. What do you think?