Dr. Jeffrey Smith as Andrew Carnegie
Dr. Jeffrey Smith of Lindenwood University portrayed Andrew Carnegie in Thief River Falls' Historic Carnegie Building. This program allowed patrons to learn more about the famous philanthropist who had an impact even in our small town. He dressed in costume, and had time-period-appropriate props to assist his presentation. He took questions after about an hour-long presentation of his life.
We hoped that patrons would learn something new about Andrew Carnegie's life. We also hoped that their interest in industrialism, philanthropy, and/or the history of the Carnegie Libraries would increase. We always distribute evaluation forms and collect public comments after the program.
95% of respondents said that after watching this program they learned something new about Andrew Carnegie. 95% said that they enjoyed this program because it helped them to gain knowledge on a topic. 90% said that this program increased their interest in industrialism, philanthropy, and/or the history of Carnegie Libraries. 100% said that they would attend a similar program in the future. Public comments included: 'very interesting and enjoyable presentation' and 'these programs are great, thank you.' Our Carnegie Building was restored a few years ago, so it was really special to be able to have a program like this in the renovated space. It gave the program even more authenticity. I think it helped patrons connect more to the history of the town in a new way.
We were permitted to use the Historic Carnegie Building free of charge. We also partnered with the University of Minnesota Crookston, to split his travel fee.