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  Table of Contents about Andrew Carnegie About Allen Gardiner, author of The Carnegie Legacy in Kansas Further information about Libraries featured in this book Carnegie Legacy in Kansas logo: Link that takes you to the home page  


In July, 1908, at a meeting of the Christian Endeavor girls of the Christian Church, the idea arose for a public library. A city federation of women's organizations was formed for the purpose of forming a library and membership cards were sold. The Goodland Public Library Association was formed and a library was opened on October 30, 1908.
Photo: Carnegie Library in Goodland Kansas

In August, 1908, Mayor P. J. McBride was asked to approach Andrew Carnegie for a gift. On December of that year, Carnegie offered $10,000.00. In order to determine whether the citizens would support a library tax, a special election was slated for January 29, 1909. As it was a special election, City Attorney E. F. Murphy gave his opinion that women could vote.
There was serious opposition to the idea of accepting money from Carnegie, and at a public meeting one E. F. Mercer led the fight against the building, saying that Carnegie's money was "tainted" and "the foe of the working man." Furthermore, Mercer said, the law "was being stretched to allow women to vote." It was decided that the men's and women's votes would be counted separately in case there was any opposition. The vote was: men, 139 for, 78 against; women, 74 for, 12 against.
Lots were procured from C. M. Millisack. The architect was Barrensen Brothers of Denver, Colo., and the builder was Fred Hunt, of Goodland. The library was completed in 1913, and opened February 8, 1913.
The library is a two-story structure on a raised basement and was designed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. The walls are simple brick and the building supports a wooden cornice. The entrance portal is flanked with smooth columns with stylized Ionic caps supporting the squared entrance with dental molding. On the ground floor the high square windows are double hung and one-over-one in design. The terra cotta tile roof accentuates the building's appearance.
By 1972, the old building had become too crowded, and on April 4 of that year the voters approved a $275,000.00 bond issue for a new building. The 13,500 square foot structure was erected in 1975. The Beulah Grant Historical Room was opened in 1979 and was named for a longtime librarian.