Friday, December 5, 2014

Viroqua (WI) Public Library Postcard

Clara Glenn
The postcard above shows the interior of the public library in Viroqua, WI. It's one of my favorites in that it features a Wisconsin library, shows people inside a library, and has an interesting message on the address side of the postcard. The interior view is particularly interesting because of the people it depicts. There are library users at tables and a group of people standing in the background. I'm going to guess that the people standing are library trustees who were on hand for the photograph. I know for sure that the person behind the circulation desk is the librarian, Clara Abigail Glenn. I know this because I came across another copy of this postcard on eBay and the message on that postcard was from Glenn who wrote to the recipient, "Here is where you see me at work." Both postcards were mailed in 1910, and Glenn was listed in a directory I found online as being the Viroqua librarian at that time.  The Viroqua public library (now the McIntosh Memorial Library) is still located in the same building as depicted on the postcard. The building which was completed in 1905 was initially financed with a grant from Andrew Carnegie. A major renovation of the building occurred in 1975 which resulted in a new facade that obscures its Carnegie origin. In 2004 shortly after I retired from my position as Director of Public Library Development at the WI Dept. of Public Instruction, I conducted a space needs study of the library. It was greatly in need of additional space. More than ten years later, there is now a good chance that a new facility will be built to house the library. The interesting message on the postcard has no connection to the library. It reads, "My dear son, your father is dead. Died last night at 10 o'clock. The funeral will be Sunday. Your Mother." The postcard was mailed on Sept. 30th which was a Friday. Hopefully it reached the sender's son who lived in Aurora, IL in time for him to attend the funeral.

1 comment:

rivendell61 said...

Yes, Viroqua has a new, spacious library building now, which my daughter and I visited last week for the first time. Here's their website. We do not live there, but are regularly in the area for various reasons. My daughter is interested in the Carnegie libraries in Wisconsin; we wish we could have seen the original Viroqua Carnegie library.