Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Osage, Iowa's Carnegie Library

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.

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