Osage, Iowa’s Carnegie Library

January 28th, 2015 by Larry T. Nix No comments »

Osage, Iowa's Carnegie library first came to my attention with the publication of Wayne Wiegand's book Main Street Public Library (Univ. of Iowa Press, 2011). The Osage, IA public library is one of four Midwest libraries featured in the book. In his book Wiegand documents the multi-year struggle that Osage went through to obtain a Carnegie grant and to build the library. The $10,000 Carnegie grant was awarded on March 27, 1905, but efforts to get the grant were initiated in February, 1903. The actual dedication of the building didn't take place until August 1, 1911. The postcard above (from my collection) shows the building under construction in 1910. A painting of the Osage Carnegie library by David Rottinghaus appears on the cover of Wiegand's book. Wiegand also facilitated the construction and sale of a birdhouse modeled on the Osage Carnegie library (see below). I have one of the birdhouses in my collection of librariana.  The Carnegie building is currently occupied by the Osage City Hall. An online article about the Carnegie library in Osage and Wiegand's book was published by the Mitchell County Press News on October 5, 2010.


Leather Library Postcard, Arcola, IL

January 26th, 2015 by Larry T. Nix No comments »


Leather postcards are unusual. Leather library postcards are even more so. Out of just under 14,000 library postcards listed on eBay, I could find only six that were made out of leather. I'm fortunate to have a few examples of these postcards. The most unusual of the ones I have is a postcard depicting the Carnegie Library in Arcola, IL (shown above). It includes color lettering which is rare. The postcard actually went through the mail on January 3, 1907. Arcola received a $10,000 grant for a public library building from Carnegie, and the building was dedicated on October 18, 1905. The public library in Arcola still occupies the building. I have a previous post about a leather postcard in my collection for Sedalia, MO. That postcard also includes some color.

Tours of the Library

January 22nd, 2015 by Joe Garity No comments »

Curious about Gleeson? Want to learn more about the library and all of the services we offer? Come on a library tour–there’s no need to sign up, just join us. We meet inside the library, in the lobby at the fountain. The tours last about 30 minutes, and a library staff member will take you around the building and show you how Gleeson can help you. They are scheduled for:

Monday January 26th @ 11am

Tuesday January 27th @ 3pm

Wednesday January 28th @ 10am

Thursday January 29th @ 12 noon

Friday January 30th @ 4pm

Saturday January 31st @ 2pm


Merchant Marine Library Postal Card, 1947

January 21st, 2015 by Larry T. Nix No comments »


As a collector of postal librariana I am interested in both the postal history and library history of artifacts that have been sent through the mail. Of course, as a library history buff, library history takes precedence over postal history for me. Stamp dealers on the other hand mostly could care less about library history. They value their postal artifacts based on postal significance. I recently acquired a postal card mailed by the American Merchant Marine Library Association (AMMLA) in NY,NY in 1947 (shown above). The AMMLA came into being after World War I largely as a result of the work of the American Library Association's Library War Service in providing books on merchant marine ships during the war. I was happy to get a postal artifact related to this organization. The postal card has a great message. The New York AMMLA is notifying representatives of the S.S. George Bancroft that they can't deliver books to the ship because the railroad tracks near the pier "knock hell out of our tires", but the ship's representatives can come over to the (AMMLA) library and pick them up. Unfortunately the front side of the postal card indicates that the message never got through. And there lies the postal significance of the card. The postal card was mailed special delivery to get the card delivered fast, but the address was insufficient and the card was "returned to sender". I like the fact that a U.S. Merchant Marine commemorative stamp was used to help achieve the correct postage rate for special delivery. Too bad it didn't work.

Off Campus Access to Databases is Down

January 20th, 2015 by Kelci No comments »

Due to ITS system maintenance on the USF firewall, off campus access to the library databases and Catalog is currently unavailable. Folks are able to access the databases and Catalog from on campus at USF and at the branch campuses. If you are faculty, you can try ITS’s VPN option.

Library staff are actively working with ITS to resolve the issue, but there is no ETA at the moment.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience. Please contact us via Ask a Librarian if you would like special assistance.

Photo adapted from original by Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes from Goiânia, Brazil

Photo adapted from original by Wagner Machado Carlos Lemes from Goiânia, Brazil


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