Gateway City Library Trail Introduction


Massachusetts boasts many former industrial cities that provided "good jobs and a 'gateway' to the American Dream." With a shift from industry to skill-centered jobs, these midsize urban centers are now repositioning themselves as anchors of new regional economies. This trail highlights an integral asset of each of the twenty-six "Gateway Cities:" the public library.

Gateway City libraries provide democratic access to reading, digital connectivity, life-long learning, cultural assimilation, and community-building in their evolving and diverse communities. Eight of them are "Carnegie Libraries," funded in part by the philanthropist and industrialist, Andrew Carnegie. Others were established by civic leaders or through innovative public-private partnerships. All benefit from local, state, federal, and public support as they continue to provide the access and resources necessary to create 21st century gateways for their patrons. These include new immigrant populations adding fresh and compelling stories to the collective history of Massachusetts.