Friday, January 31, 2014
[LIB10395] - The Macomb City Library was formed by action of the City Council. The Library was organized on November 10, 1881 when the mayor appointed a Library Board of Directors of nine members. The first library opened on April 8, 1882 on the upper floor of the Stocker Building at 109 South Side Square.
In 1883 when the City of Macomb purchased the building at 108 South Lafayette Street, the Macomb City Library was moved to the second floor. On October 28, 1904 the Macomb City Public Library opened in a new Carnegie Building at 235 South Lafayette Street. [Website]
[LIB10394] - Eldridge R. Johnson Park, and the former Cooper Library which stands at the park’s center, represent one of the most significant and unique cultural, historic, and artistic resources in the City of Camden and the State of New Jersey. The site has been designated as a State and Federal Historic Landmark based not only on the elements which remain from the peak of its use in the early 19th century, but also due to its importance as a reflection of a period of Camden’s industrial history.
Local inventor and philanthropist Eldridge R. Johnson, whose modern phonograph helped launch RCA, donated the Neo-Classical Cooper Branch Library and surrounding Johnson Park to the City of Camden. Built between 1914 and 1930, the complex occupies an entire block near Camden's waterfront on the Rutgers-Camden campus. When it opened in 1918, the site became southern New Jersey's foremost cultural and recreational center. Today, the library houses the Walt Whitman Arts Center and is owned by Rutgers-Camden.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
[LIB10392] - Woburn’s library history began 200 years ago in 1789. On April 13 of that year, just 17 days before George Washington was inaugurated as the country’s first President, thirty-three gentlemen and ladies signed a document in which they agreed to purchase shares in what would be known as the Social Library. Subsequent libraries in Woburn were also of the subscription variety; the concept of a free public library did not receive much support until 1854. At that time, Jonathan Bowers Winn offered his salary of $300.00, which he had received as a delegate to the Convention to revise the State Constitution, to found a public library if the Town would give a matching sum. The offer was accepted and in 1856 the first public library opened in a room in the Municipal Building. L.L. Whitney was the first librarian, a post he held until 1860. [Website]
[LIB10391] - At the annual meeting on March 8, 1892 the citizens of Pelham voted to establish a Free Public Library, and elected a three-member Board of Trustees. The library officially opened for business about January 17, 1893. Miss Mary Edna Hobbs was appointed librarian with an annual salary of $20. By March 1, 1894, at the end of its first full year of service, the library had issued 137 library cards; held a total collection of 629 books; circulated – or “delivered” — 2,420 books; and collected $10.06 in fines. Appointed when she was eighteen years old, Miss Hobbs, known to many as “Aunt Molly,” served as librarian until July 31, 1958 – over 65 years! By then the library owned 6,654 books with an annual circulation of 6,004; there were 166 registered borrowers; and the librarian’s salary rose to $400 per year. [Website]
[LIB10390] - The original Carnegie Library was built in a Classical Revival style of brick with limestone trim and a stone balustrade at the roof. The Greenpoint Star praised it on April 14, 1906 for its “tasteful simplicity." As Greenpoint became the center of a Polish community, English classes were offered and a well-stocked Polish book collection was acquired. The building, structurally unsafe was demolished in 1970. In 1973 a new one-story library opened on the same site. Although not as grand as its predecessor, it provides the community with a resource for knowledge and a meeting place for a new generation of library users.
[LIB10387] - In 1938, the Works Progress Administration set up the largest WPA library project in the state in Sylacauga. At that time, library service was extended to rural Talladega County, and the tradition of broad, free municipal library service to citizens outside the city limits was established. By 1939, a $28,000 WPA grant had built a new building to house the library. The Comer family gave $5,000 to furnish the library, and the name was changed from Sylacauga Public Library to B. B. Comer Memorial Library in memory of the late Governor Comer. [Website]
[LIB10386] - Ensley established the first free public library in Jefferson County, Alabama on July 12, 1906 with more than 2,000 people attending the grand opening. In 1911, the Ensley Library became a branch of the Birmingham Public Library.
On June 26, 1955, a new ultra-modern building was opened offering air conditioning, a meeting room and a children's area. The design for this building won first honor of the American Institute of Architects. [Website]