Six Years of Blogging

November 19th, 2014 by Larry T. Nix No comments »
Today is the sixth anniversary of the Library History Buff Blog. This post is number 653. In the six years, the blog has received 351,000 page views. The blog has 278 regular followers. All of this is, of course, very modest in the overall blogging world, but it is impressive in the library history blogging world which is extremely limited. The mission/purpose/reason for the blog was given in the first blog post on Nov. 19, 2008:

This blog is a companion to my static website The Library History Buff. It has a similar mission - to promote the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of our library heritage. The blog format, however, lends itself better to personal commentary and offers the possibility of interactive communication with others with a similar interest in library history. I often post to the listserv of the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association but the audience for that listserv is restricted to members of LHRT. Another downside to posting to the LHRT listserv is that all members of the listserv are involuntarily subjected to my posts, something I occasionally feel guilty about. It puzzles and saddens me that so few in the library community seem to appreciate or even to be aware of the legacy of those who preceded them in the enterprise of managing and facilitating access to library and information services. This blog is my small attempt to increase the appreciation and awareness of our library heritage.

A Library Postcard With Multiple Personal Connections

November 19th, 2014 by Larry T. Nix No comments »

As I have mentioned in previous posts about my library postcard collecting interests, I am particularly interested in the message side of postcards especially if the message relates to libraries or library postcard collecting. One such postcard in my collection has multiple personal and library related connections. The postcard (shown above) depicts the interior of the Greenville County (SC) Library. I served as Director of the library from 1974 to 1980, and I have a number of these postcards which are unused. This postcard was mailed on Dec. 5, 1983 by Martha Jane Zachert from Columbia, SC to Dan Lester in Durango, CO. At the time Martha Jane was on the faculty of the University of South Carolina Library School and Dan was Director of the Durango Public Library. I've shared an interest in collecting librariana with Dan for a number of years and I recently wrote about his library postcard collection. Although our careers overlapped in South Carolina, it has only been recently that I have connected with Martha Jane and discovered out shared interest in library history and philately. My final connection to this postcard is the America's Libraries stamp. I'm an avid collector of first day covers and other postal items with this stamp, and have even created an exhibit of those items. It's use on a postcard during this time period is unusual in that it is a first class postage stamp and overpays the postcard rate. 

Alumni Library Card for 2014 USF Graduates

November 18th, 2014 by Matthew Collins No comments »

Congratulations December 2014 Graduates!

The Gleeson Library would like to offer you a FREE Gleeson Alumni Library card.  Complete the application by March 31st 2015 at: 


These Alumni accounts will be valid through December 31, 2015.  After which you are welcome to renew at standard  Gleeson Alumni rate.  Full description of privileges and rates at:

Water – the enemy of books and libraries

November 17th, 2014 by Larry T. Nix No comments »
Detail of postcard showing library

I previously wrote a post about a book titled The Enemies of Books by William Blades (Trubner, London, 1880) with an emphasis on the portion of the book dealing with fire. In his book Blades wrote: "Next to Fire we must rank Water in its two forms, liquid and vapour, as the greatest destroyer of books." I was reminded of the danger of water to books and libraries by a recent article by Bernadette Lear titled "Pennsylvania Public Libraries and the Great Flood of 1936" which is available in digital form HERE. I also wrote a post about Ohio libraries and the flood of 1913. I have a postcard (shown above) depicting the impact of the Vermont flood of 1927 on Montpelier, VT and its library. That flood, "took out 1285 bridges, miles and miles of roads and railroads, and countless homes and buildings. Eighty-four people died in the flood, including Lt. Governor S. Hollister Jackson." Libraries in the United States have been damaged in recent years by water from major weather events including hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. Some individual libraries experiencing water based disasters include the University of Wisconsin - Superior Library, Stanford University Libraries, Washington County Library (St. George, UT, to name only a few. Fortunately there are now procedures in place to recover damaged library materials in many instances.

The Daniel W. Lester Library Postcard Collection

November 13th, 2014 by Larry T. Nix No comments »

Dan on the left, me on the right
Today I drove to Urbana, Illinois to deliver 6,450 library postcards to the American Library Association Archives which are administered by the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. The postcards are from the collection of Dan Lester of St. George, Utah, a library postcard collector of more than four decades. Dan decided he was ready to dispose of his postcard collection and elected to donate the bulk of the collection to the ALA Archives. I volunteered to get the collection from St. George to Urbana which occurred in stages with a big assist from a friend in Denver, Colorado. I still have in my possession a large collection of duplicate and foreign library postcards which I hope to sell for Dan. Dan previously donated a large collection of library history books and library memorabilia to benefit the ALA Library History Round Table and the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center. There comes a time when all collectors have to decide on the the disposition of their collection/s or leave the chore to others after they are gone. Kudos to Dan for passing on his collections to benefit the promotion and preservation of library history.

Lester library postcard collection sorted by state & community ready to load up for the trip to Urbana.
Loaded & ready for delivery.
Archives Research Center at the Univ. of Illinois, new home to the Lester library postcard collection.