May 18 is International Museum Day. This is an appropriate occasion to raise the topic of library museums once more. This is a topic I have been bringing up for years. It is discussed on the Library History Buff website here. This is also an occasion to pay tribute to the Bibliotheekmuseum (Library Museum) that is located in the Bibliotheek Amsterdam (Amsterdam Library). It is the oldest and most extensive library museum in the world. It was founded by Hans Krol who established the Library Museum Committee in 1969. The museum opened in 1975 in a small room in The Hague. It moved to the new Amsterdam Public Library in 2000. Krol is shown in the accompaning image. Krol is probably the most agressive collector of librariana and library artifacts in the world today. Norman Stevens could have previously made a claim to this designation. He donated the bulk of his extensive collection to the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Wisconsin Library Association Foundation has created the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center which promotes library history but does not have a physical location. The American Library Association Archives at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana offfers the potential for becoming more museum like. There needs to be more done to preserve and display the artifacts of our library heritage, but who will provide the leadership?
Miss “Public Libraries” Mary Eileen Ahern
4 weeks ago