Thursday, April 6, 2017

World War I Library Postcard

The American Library Association’s Library War Service operated forty-one camp libraries in the U.S. during World War I.  ALA produced postcards depicting most of the camp library buildings, and I have examples of almost all of those in my library postcard collection. I particularly seek out those postcards with messages, and I’m always delighted when the message refers to the library depicted on the postcard. The postcard above depicts the library at Camp Jackson, SC.  It was written on 11/10/18 but was postmarked on 11/11/18, Armistice Day.  The postcard bears a 2 cent stamp. On Nov. 2, 1917, the postage rate for postal cards and postcards was increased to 2 cents to help pay for the war.  The message is a testimonial for camp libraries.  It reads: “Here is where I spend a part of my time while loafing. They certainly have an assortment of good magazines and books. In fact most anything one wants to read. I am here [the library] at present.  This is a good picture of the building." I have written another blog post about camp library postcards with messages.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

World War I & the American Library Association

April 6 marks the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I.  Almost all history related organizations in the U.S. will do something to commemorate the U.S. participation in the war. The involvement in the war by the American Library Association through its Library War Service has been a longtime interest of mine and I have written many posts on this blog about that involvement.  I’m helping to commemorate the work of ALA’s Library War Service with two different exhibits this year.  I have an exhibit at the Middleton (WI) Public Library this month which features some of the larger artifacts in my collection related to the Library War Service (see photo above).  I hope to share this exhibit with other Wisconsin libraries also.  My other exhibit (see photo below) is one that I have developed for stamp shows and includes postal items and other paper artifacts about the Library War Service.  I have already shown the exhibit at two stamp shows and expect to show it in several more this year.

The American Library Association Archives which has an outstanding collection of archival materials related to the Library War Service will be doing a number of things to commemorate ALA’s involvement in the war.  The Archives has already posted several outstanding articles on its blog. More general online exhibits about the U.S. involvement in World War I have been created by the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.