Monday, April 25, 2011

Library: Plattsmouth, Nebraska


Plattsmouth Public Library
401 Avenue A
Plattsmouth, Nebraska 68048

Carnegie Grant Awarded: June 1, 1915
Built: 1916
Building Cost: $12,500
Operating income (2010?): $281,921

Current holdings:
Books: 38,390
Audio materials: 872
Videos: 735
Serial publications: 89
Serves: 6,867 residents
(source)

I've visited the Plattsmouth Public Library many times in the past when visiting family/friends who live in town.  By the time I arrived in Plattsmouth during my trip to Nebraska last month it was Saturday evening and the library was already closed.

I remember feeling snug and safe in this library as a kid.  My own hometown library in Cicero, IL was a two story building that seemed too large and intimidated me when I was really little.  I eventually grew into that library.  The Plattsmouth library has grown, too, with an addition that doubled its size as you can see in this picture of the side of the building:
addition on left, original on right

This addition looks similar to the one that the public library in Red Cloud, NE is currently raising funds for.  When I make it back to Plattsmouth I'll update this post with inside pictures, if possible (out of respect for people's privacy, I don't take pictures if people can be identified).

The Plattsmouth library is on the National Register of Historic Places.  This plaque is mounted below the light on the right-hand side of the door as you're walking into the library.
The small print reads:
Andrew Carnegie donated $12,500 to the city with the provision the city allocate $1,250 per year to run the library. It was built in the neo-classical revival style. Miss Olive Jones the first librarian held this position for 54 years, retiring in 1940.
There's parking on the street out front of the library and in back.  But if you park in the rear you'd better be going to the library:

The Carnegie library was not Plattsmouth's first library.  The original library still stands across the street. I forgot about this when I was there or I would have taken a picture.  Epic fail on my part, as my nephew would say.  However, here are two pictures of that earlier library from the Nebraska Library Commission.
Historic picture of Plattsmouth's earlier library, circa 1916

A more recent photo.  Years ago when my aunt first told me that this was the old library, it was a private residence. Notice how the windows were altered.

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