Saturday, February 12, 2011

Maine Library Postcards

I worked as Assistant Director of the Louis B. Goodall Library in Sanford Maine from 1973-1976.   This library was built in 1937 as a gift to the town by the daughter of Mr. Goodall.  The Goodalls were the owners of the once thriving textile mills in Sanford which were at their peak from 1880-1910 primarily producing carriage robes and blankets as well as plush fabric for upholstering railroad seats.  The Goodall mills were sold to Burlington Mills in 1954 and they closed the operations in Sanford.

As with Carnegie libraries, the upkeep and maintenance of the library was the responsibility of the town. More information is available online about the history of Sanford's Library  -- doesn't mention my name however.

There are three other Maine library postcards in my collection, two of them are of the same library at different times and it is a (unofficial) Carnegie Library.

Augusta Maine. Lithgow Library c1911 above, below c1940
Although the Lithgow Library is not listed on New England Carnegies or Wikipedia's List of Carnegie libraries in Maine, the history of the Library states "Andrew Carnegie donated $9000" in 1894 and the library was designed by Neal and Hopkins Architects of Pittsburgh.

Belfast Public Library and Methodist Church. Belfast Maine c. 1900
Not a Carnegie Library, although I couldn't find any information about the history.

Although my current collection of Maine Carnegie Library cards is zero (one unofficial), there were 18 (19) public libraries and two academic libraries built in Maine from grants awarded by the Carnegie Corporation.  Obviously I need to do more research on Carnegie Libraries and find an authoritative list.

Carnegie Libraries in Maine = 21
Catherine's collection = 1

Find more Maine library postcards at this website:  Maine Library Postcards


Catherine said...

I emailed the compiler of the New England Carnegies website about the library in Augusta Maine and here's part of her reply:

"I'd never read that the Augusta ME library received money. I quickly accessed a few of them [sources] through Google Books and did a name search for Augusta. Nothing came up. And those books include the definitive lists of grant recipients. I even searched in the "Carnegie Denied" book, and it too revealed no entries for Augusta."

She also provided me a link to her sources. Now I know where to start my additional research!

Still makes me wonder why someone at the Augusta Library thinks they got money from Carnegie if they did not.

Catherine said...

Second response from the compiler of the New England Carnegies:

"I'll probably e-mail the Augusta Library someday soon to find out more particulars. Most sources DO NOT record Augusta as having a traditional Carnegie library. The lone reference appears in the Bobinski* book in a chart that lists Augusta as getting "unrecorded" funds. I suppose most folks do not consider it a traditional Carnegie library because the majority of the funding for the building came from Lithgow, a local benefactor. But that's similar to the story of the Gardiner ME library, which only got $2500 to finish the job. I guess I'll add Augusta to the site eventually."

*Bobinski, George S. Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development. Published by American Library Association, 1969. This book is available at the Phoenix Public Library so I will be checking it out soon.

Items from Uible photo album