The Carnegie Medal was established in 1936 in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Carnegie was a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the USA. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that “if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries.”
First awarded to Arthur Ransome for Pigeon Post, the winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice. Since 2016 the winner of the Carnegie Medal has also been awarded the £5,000 Colin Mears Award.