Friday, September 24, 2010

McLean Library, Fostoria, Ohio

[LIB0322] - Early libraries in Fostoria, Ohio included a subscription service run by the owners of the local drugstore (1870s) and a library run by the Fostoria High School Alumni Association that was free to alumni and available for a small fee to non-alumni (1890s). Reorganization and city funding of $900 per year transformed the Alumni Association library into the Fostoria Public Library Association. This group, incorporated in 1900, maintained over 4000 volumes in a donated building on West Tiffin Street.

Local resident Louisa McClean left $21,000 to the library when she died in 1910. Then, in 1913, the library association approached Andrew Carnegie to obtain a library grant. Carnegie responded with a grant of $20,000. A lot on Perry Street was purchased for $10,000, and architect Thomas McLaughlin of Lima was hired to design the limestone building that would bear Mrs. McClean's name. The grand opening of the McClean Public Library was 11 November 1914. Featuresd speakers were Mayor George Cunningham and former Ohio State Librarian Charles Galbreath.

The library was expanded in 1968 with funds donated by Arthur Kaubisch. At some point, the library was renamed in his honor, though the McClean Drinking Fountain at the north end of the lot kept its original name.

A second addition was made in 1989. Today's Kaubisch library bears little resemblance to a>historical postcard depicting the orignal McClean library. However, one exterior wall of the original can be seen on the south side of the building.

Armentrout, Mary Ellen. Carnegie Libraries of Ohio>Kaubisch Memorial Public Library>"Opening the book on Fostoria's early library history",, retrieved 13 July 2009
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