A Publication of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
Winter 2018 • Volume 26• Issue 1
What If You Couldn’t Get into Your Library? A Price Hill veteran explains how the Library’s Facilities Plan could change his life. Plus information about plans for other branches on page 6.
African American Women in the Queen City
Tales from the Archives
We’re showcasing women who made a difference in Hamilton County. Details on page 8.
Read how a flag connected to Abraham Lincoln ended up in the Library’s collection. Story on page 12.
KIMBER L. FENDER
Library use is changing again!
The Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director
Library use is changing again! Having worked in libraries for nearly 40 years and been a Library cardholder for even longer, I can say this really isn’t anything new. When I began my career in public libraries, we had card catalogs and the entire check-out process was manual. Overdue notices were typed by Library staff on a typewriter and mailed to your home. When we looked for a magazine article for a research project we used the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature to find the citations, then located copies of the magazines and read or copied the articles. Reference resources were expensive and only available in print. The Library couldn’t afford copies for each branch and some libraries couldn’t afford these resources at all. Now these resources are available online, with your Library card, and can be accessed from any location with Internet access. Full-text articles are available online. Digital books, streaming video, and music downloads all make using the Library possible from anywhere, anytime. The Main Library was built in three phases starting between 1955 and 1998 and Library has the capacity to house a collection of millions of items. But the rise in the demand for digital materials and the corresponding decline in the demand for some forms of print materials mean the way the building is used is also changing. The Library’s extensive magazine collection saw a decline in use by nearly 90 percent from 2005 through 2013. So, in 2015, we moved the collection to the stacks and added the MakerSpace. The Library has more than 980,000 adult non-fiction books stored at Main Library. But only 23 percent of those books were borrowed in the last two years. Visits to the Main Library are down by 19.5 percent in the last five years; the resources that used to require a trip to the Main Library are now available anywhere, from a branch library or home or school or work, even when the Library’s buildings are closed. Computer use is also down over the last five years as more people use their personal tablet or smartphone to access the Internet.
So we’re going to be re-working Main Library space to make it easier for families to use by placing youth services in close proximity to our Popular Library. Right now, these departments are located in two separate buildings. Our cardholders have to cross the street or use an elevator to get from one section to the other; that’s impractical for families with children in tow. We plan to reconfigure the Information and Reference collection of nonfiction to make it easier to browse. We’ll showcase the subjects that get the most use and make the less popular subjects available by request from our stacks. Books in the Children’s and Teen sections will also be carefully selected to encourage more use of the collection. Many desktop computers will be replaced with laptops which can be used anywhere in the Main Library and new services, like the MakerSpace, will expand. We’ll replace the floor in the Atrium and update furnishings throughout the building.
If you regularly visit the Main Library, you’ll see these changes being implemented and if you haven’t visited Main in a while, we hope these improvements will bring you back.
IN THIS ISSUE OF
Library News. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Author Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Cover Story. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Happening at Main. . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Friends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0 Library Foundation Thanks. . . . . . 1 1 Tales from the Archives. . . . . . . . . 1 2
Find us on all your favorite social media platforms @cincylibrary. WALL AT CLIFTON BRANCH LIBRARY COMMEMORATES CHILDREN’S BOOK WEEK In 1919, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) began an annual celebration of Children’s Book Week. Each year, a special poster is designed by famous illustrators like Marc Brown, Richard Scarry, Garth Williams, and Mercer Mayer. Twenty-eight of these posters now grace the wall of the children’s area at the Clifton Branch Library thanks to Senior Library Services Assistant Sara Wreath. After getting permission from the CBC to use the images, Wreath went to the Main Library’s MakerSpace and printed the posters on vinyl clings to avoid damaging the walls with tape or pins. The next step was deciding how to arrange them on the wall. “We tried several layouts,” said Wreath on the final configuration. “When we tried them chronologically, they looked really good so that’s the order we went with.” Fellow Senior Library Services Assistant Julia Gardiner helped Wreath assemble the mural on the wall, a careful process that took half a day. But it was well worth it. Branch Manager Lisa Hamrick said they’ve added a display of beautifully illustrated children’s books for children and parents to enjoy together. “It’s been wonderful watching the families look at the mural and hear ‘We read that one!’ in a sweet and excited voice,” said Hamrick. “I am so impressed with the creativity of the Clifton staff members. They are always looking for new ways to make the branch look extra special.” For more information about the MakerSpace at the Main Library, go to CincinnatiLibrary.org/MakerSpace. To see more photos of the mural’s creation, visit the Library’s Flickr page.
Main Library 800 Vine Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202–2009 CincinnatiLibrary.org This newsletter is a publication of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. It is mailed quarterly to the Friends of the Public Library as a benefit of membership. If you have comments or questions regarding material in this newsletter, contact the Marketing Department at the address above or call 513-369–6900.
Mariemont Branch Library is now a fully mobile location Cardholders visiting the Mariemont Branch Library now get help whenever and wherever they need it inside the branch as part of the Library’s move toward fully mobile service. That means the Mariemont Branch no longer has a circulation desk. Instead, staff circulate and help cardholders anywhere in the branch—in the stacks, by the holds shelf, even in the children’s area—with the help of a mobile device. The move is part of a wider plan to make the Library easier to use. You may notice staff with mobile devices ready to help at other locations including Clifton, Greenhills, Loveland, Reading, St. Bernard, and parts of the Main Library.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES Robert G. Hendon Monica Donath Kohnen Elizabeth H. LaMacchia William J. Moran Barbara W. Trauth Ross A. Wright
The Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director Kimber L. Fender Chief Finance and Facilities Officer Molly DeFosse
LibraryLinks | Winter 2018
Ohio Library Council recognizes your Library for employees, innovation The Ohio Library Council (OLC) gives top honors to your Library! Cataloging Team Lead Michael Christian-Budd is the winner of the Service Excellence Award recognizing an employee who made outstanding contributions to local library development. The Library’s suite of customized services including Hot Authors, Hot Tickets, Book HookUp and CD of the Month is this year’s OLC Library Innovation Award winner. And Kimber L. Fender, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Library, is the OLC Hall of Fame Librarian for 2017. The awards were presented at the annual OLC conference in Dayton, Ohio on Oct. 4.
Readers with disabilities find community in book club The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) gives people with intellectual and development disabilities the chance to talk about books and interact in a social setting. A chapter of NCBC formed at the Oakley Branch Library in May 2017. The branch is only three miles from Living Arrangements for the Developmentally Disabled, which partners with the branch on the club. There’s no reading level requirement and the group meets in the public area of the branch to give members the chance to interact with Library customers. “The group has definitely formed a bond,” said Chris Oaks, Oakley Branch Manager. “They clearly enjoy themselves and feel comfortable with each other, as they often joke around with each other and the Library staff in a good-natured way.” The group is reading a book of short stories written by Dr. Thomas Fish, the founder of NCBC. The stories tackle all aspects of adult life but do so at a reading level that is appropriate for the group. There are questions at the end of the stories to encourage discussion amongst the group. For now the group is only meeting at the Oakley Branch Library and meetings are limited to eight people. The Library may expand to two additional branches in early 2018. “Being a part of this project has given me a chance to help reach previously underserved patrons in our community, as well as get to meet a lot of extraordinary people,” said Oaks. For more on the Next Chapter Book Club, visit NextChapterBookclub.org.
STATE AUDITOR HONORS LIBRARY WITH AWARD OF DISTINCTION The Library’s excellent record keeping led to the Library receiving the Auditor of State Award with Distinction from Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost. The award is presented to local governments and school districts upon the completion of a clean financial audit. “We take responsible stewardship of public funds very seriously,” said Molly DeFosse, Chief Finance and Facilities Officer. “We keep careful records of the money given to us by taxpayers and work every day to provide the best service and collection to our cardholders.”
LibraryLinks | Winter 2018
NEW BOOKLISTS COMING FOR READERS! Librarians are hard at work creating fun new booklists, so you’ll never run out of stuff to read. Watch CincinnatiLibrary.org and our social media accounts for these booklists coming soon! November: Holiday Books December: Books with Buzz for 2018 January: Teen Survival Guide-Books on Tough Topics
Julie K. Rubini writes about fellow Ohio author Virginia Hamilton
Julie K. Rubini graduated from the University of Toledo, and is the recipient of the Toledo-area Jefferson Award and the YWCA Milestones Award. She also served as a city councilwoman for the City of Maumee. Rubini’s latest work is Virginia Hamilton: America’s Storyteller, a biography of America’s most honored author of children’s literature and the first African American to win the Newbery Medal. Rubini is a literacy advocate, and enjoys reading to kindergartners weekly. Rubini and her husband, Kyle, established Claire’s Day, a children’s book festival in honor of their 10-year-old daughter who died suddenly in 2000. The festival has grown into an outreach event which now impacts more than 20,000 children each year.
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE CLAIRE’S DAY FESTIVAL YOU STARTED. Claire’s Day began as a one-day book festival. It has grown to a month filled with multiple book festivals at different locations and dozens of school visits by our participating authors and illustrators. One of the amazing highlights is Claire’s Awards for Reading Excellence. This past year we gave more than a thousand children this empowering award. How cool is that?
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA TO DO A BOOK ABOUT VIRGINIA HAMILTON? I knew of Virginia Hamilton and her work through our work at Claire’s Day. There had never been a biography of this depth for middle-grade readers, and as they are her primary audience, I thought it was time.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START WRITING YOUR FIRST BOOK? I was contacted by the publisher to write Hidden Ohio. Researching, writing in concise form, and learning about the editing process provided me with great lessons. I loved every step of the creation of the book. Even more so, Hidden Ohio provided the opportunity to share all I discovered about our great state with children during school visits.
WHO’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST LITERARY INFLUENCE? From a writing standpoint, Candace Fleming for children’s nonfiction. I also recently read and loved Melissa Sweet’s biography of E.B. White.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE LIBRARY STORY FROM YOUR CHILDHOOD? I do but it might come out in a picture book someday, so I won’t spoil it. Let’s just say it involved six kids, a mini-bike, an overladen Red Flyer wagon, and a library card found in the corn field years later by our mother.
WHAT’S YOUR NIGHTSTAND READING RIGHT NOW? Five books, all reflective of my interests and future writing projects: Hillbilly Elegy, a book on grief, a baseball book, Someone by Alice McDermott, and Presenting Buffalo Bill by Candace Fleming.
LibraryLinks | Winter 2018
What If You Couldn’t Get into Your Library? A Price Hill veteran explains how the Library’s sweeping Facilities Plan could change his life
Mitchell Erhardt sits on the bottom steps of the Price Hill Branch Library on Warsaw Avenue, blocks from where he lives, and talks openly about his 12 years of service in the U.S. Army. A veteran of combat missions Desert Storm and Desert Shield, Erhardt left the battlefield behind in 1992 after a friend died in his arms. “I’d had enough,” said Erhardt. After his years of service, Erhardt settled in Price Hill and went to work building custom furniture. Then, three years ago, he found he faced a new battle. Complications from diabetes damaged his kneecap and forced him to use a wheelchair. As he learned to navigate in his chair, he realized he would not be able to visit the Price Hill Branch Library. The building, which opened in 1909, is one of nine libraries in Hamilton County built with funds from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation. But it is not yet accessible to people with disabilities. “I don’t know how to express it,” said Erhardt. “It’s aggravating and I’m a big library user.” For Erhardt and other residents of Hamilton County who live with physical disabilities, the inaccessibility of the Price Hill Branch Library and two other library locations—Madisonville and Walnut Hills—means they can’t easily get access to the books, DVDs, research help, free Wi-Fi, and valuable services other Hamilton County residents enjoy at their Library. The Library and the Board of Trustees want to change that. The Library is beginning the most significant building plan in its 160-year history. It took 18 months of work by Library staff and architects to come up with solutions to meet the needs of our cardholders. The decision to go forward with this plan was 6
LibraryLinks | Winter 2018
announced during a board meeting in October 2016. Since then, the Library has been working to put the plan into action. The Facilities Plan will cost an estimated $54 million to complete. “The bulk of that is branch maintenance work that hasn’t been done for a long period of time,” said Molly DeFosse, Chief Finance and Facilities Officer. “That includes things like carpeting and renovation. Every day, there’s a new thing that needs to be done.” The Library maintains 41 buildings and 950,000 square feet of space across every corner of Hamilton County. Having so many branches makes the Library easy and convenient to use. With borrowing at an all-time high, it’s clear our cardholders need the Library. In fact, last year we were the second busiest public library system in the country, behind only New York Public Library.
The work to make all of our branches accessible to those with disabilities is the top priority of the Facilities Plan. The Facilities Plan is comprehensive and sets aside money for all our branches in need of repairs. We will replace roofs, furniture, elevators, and HVAC units. We need to replace branches in four communities: Elmwood Place, Greenhills, Miami Township, and Mt. Healthy. We also have some additional work to do to make our Cheviot and Wyoming branch libraries fully accessible to those with physical disabilities.
Sara Sheets is the Executive Director of the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. She supports the investment the Library wants to make in her neighborhood branch. “27 percent of our residents are ages 55 and older,” said Sheets. “We have two senior housing developments just a few blocks from the branch. Many of these seniors use walkers or are in wheelchairs, yet they can’t access the building.”
Erhardt goes to the Covedale Branch Library or Main Library several times a week as well, since he can’t get into the branch in his own neighborhood. “I enjoy true-story books and movies and war-related items,” said Erhardt. He also loves live theater performances put on for free at many Library branches. “I would use this library a lot more if it was more accessible. I’d be here probably four to five days a week!”
The Facilities Plan would be a life-changing project for Erhardt and many of his veteran friends. “I have a friend that goes up to the Covedale branch,” Erhardt said. “And since he’s permanently wheelchair-bound, he has an electric wheelchair. It takes him approximately two and a half hours to get up to the library. By the time he’s up there his battery is dead, so he has to recharge before he can come home. He does this at least three times a week.”
“It’s vital that all members of our community be able to access the offerings (of the Library),” added Sheets. “I’ve heard from so many people who feel excluded from participating in community life because they cannot even get into the Madisonville Branch Library. That needs to change.” You can read more about the Library’s Facilities Plan and check for updates by visiting CincinnatiLibrary.org. Learn about plans for the Main Library on page 2.
We asked our customers what they love about having a Library card.
Having access to a library (especially such an amazing one like the one here in Cincinnati) opens up amazing worlds and opportunities for me and my family. We are able to read just about anything we want to, but could never afford to buy on our own. I can’t imagine life without books, and having a library card means I can dive into just about any book I want.
I love getting books delivered to my local branch. I love getting eBooks for my Nook at midnight! I love the selection of audiobooks for my MP3 player! I love the children’s book area at the Forest Park branch.
– Jennifer Jansen
I can escape to any of a thousand worlds filled with dragons or cyborgs or vampires or werewolves or superheroes.
– J.W. Carter
– Diane Cooper Salvato
I have had my card since l was 6 and have seen many good changes. l have always loved and devoured books. – Phyllis Sparks Myer
I love the living and breathing librarians who guide me to books when I want to find a book. The library is a community and once you’ve read a book you physically return it but you also share the story and the experience with others. That’s the power of a story in a book in a library.
– Mary Seguin
LibraryLinks | Winterr 2018
HAPPENING AT MAIN
Empowerment and Achievement AFRICAN AMERICAN WOMEN IN THE QUEEN CITY
Throughout history, women fought obstacles and overcame perceptions of their role in society. This February, during Black History Month, the Main Library will showcase African American women who refused to take a limited role and instead became leaders who made a difference in Hamilton County. All programs begin at 2 p.m. in the Reading Garden Lounge on the first floor of the South Building at the Main Library.
The Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs at 1010 Chapel Street SATURDAY, FEB. 3
Historian John Harshaw and members of the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women will present a fascinating look at one of the oldest African American women’s organizations in the United States and efforts to preserve and renovate its clubhouse at 1010 Chapel Street in Walnut Hills.
Marian Spencer—Keep on Fighting SATURDAY, FEB. 10 Join author Dorothy H. Christenson for a talk on her friend and Cincinnati legend Marian Spencer. Spencer left a legacy of lasting Civil Rights victories including the desegregation of Cincinnati’s Coney Island amusement park. She fought to desegregate Cincinnati schools and to stop the introduction of observers in black voting precincts in Ohio. Her campaign to raise awareness of industrial toxic-waste practices in minority neighborhoods was later adapted into national Superfund legislation. Christenson’s biography, Keep On Fighting, reveals the life story of this remarkable leader.
Miss Black Cincinnati and Miss Black Teen Cincinnati Pageants SATURDAY, FEB. 24 Thirty-eight years ago, Robert L. Humphries created a pageant that focused on the inner beauty of the contestants and valued young African American women for their poise, intellect, and talent. Join Humphries and former contestants for a discussion on the history of these pageants and the impact it made on individual lives and on the community. 8
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Living on the Air in Cincinnati CINCINNATI’S BROADCASTING HISTORY
The Library is partnering with Media Heritage on an exhibit celebrating Cincinnati’s radio and television history. The exhibit opens Nov. 15 and features photographs and original artifacts from local shows and stations. The exhibit will be on display throughout the Main Library, including in the atrium and the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room.
Cincinnati Chamber Opera to perform songs of Virginia Woolf and Emily Dickinson The Cincinnati Chamber Opera and the Cincinnati Song Initiative will put on a special performance Saturday, Jan. 13 at 2 p.m. in the Main Library Reading Garden Lounge. How Beautiful They Are is a dramatic theater production featuring music from Aaron Copland’s 12 Poems of Emily Dickinson and Dominick Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.
Holiday Train returns to Main Library The Cincinnati Northern Model Railroad Club will host its annual holiday train display at the Main Library Dec. 1–3. The display is sponsored by Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. There will be a number of holiday events at the Main Library and select branches. Visit CincinnatiLibrary.org for more information.
LISTEN LibraryLinks | Winter 2018
The Friends of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County We wish our friends and patrons a peaceful and happy 2017 Holiday Season! The Library Friends’ Shop and the Friends’ Warehouse look forward to your visits as Cincinnati’s temperature slides into winter. A myriad of books, puzzles, music, movies and thoughtful gift options await at both locations. LIBRARY FRIENDS’ SHOP Inside the Main Library at 800 Vine St., Downtown Cincinnati. Holiday hours run from Nov. 24–Dec. 23 Monday through Saturdays, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sundays, 1–5 p.m. The Library Friends’ Shop is closed Sunday, Dec. 24, and Sunday, Dec. 31.
WORK-SHOP-SAVE NIGHT Tuesday, Dec. 5, 5–9 p.m. Downtown workers, shoppers, and savers can relax, savor, and enjoy special holiday savings at this annual Library Friends’ Shop experience.
TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS returns Dec. 12–23. Find details by visiting the Library Friends’ Shop Facebook page.
FRIENDS OF THE LIBRARY WAREHOUSE 8456 Vine St. in Hartwell The Warehouse is closed Monday, Jan. 1, 2018.
FRIENDS’ ANNUAL WINTER WAREHOUSE SALE Jan. 11–14, 2018 Thursday, Jan. 11, and Friday, Jan. 12, 10 a.m.–7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 14, noon–5 p.m. The Library Friends’ Pop-Up Shop is open Thursday through Saturday during this sale Find more details by visiting Friends.CincinnatiLibrary.org , the Library Friends’ Shop Facebook page, or by calling 513-369-6920 for the Library Friends’ Shop or 513-369-6035 for the Friends of the Library Warehouse.
LibraryLinks | Winter 2018
LIBRARY FOUNDATION THANKS
The Library is deeply grateful for the generosity of our community and welcomes gifts of all sizes. Your donations are essential to ensuring delivery of excellent Library services and the availability of the widest possible range of informational resources for all ages. For inquiries regarding contributions, please contact the Library Foundation Executive Director at 513-369-4595.
The following gifts were received between March 30 and Sept. 27, 2017. For more information about donating to the Library Foundation, visit our website at CincinnatiLibraryFoundation.org.
Gifts to the Library and Library Foundation
Dr. and Mrs. Theodore W. Striker
$49 and under
Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation for Homework Help $10,000+ William Hueneke Foundation, Huntington Bank Trustee for the William Hueneke Homework Center LaMacchia Family Foundation $3,000+ Bruce Family Charitable Foundation for the Mariemont Branch
$100+ AK Steel Foundation in honor of Jerry Schoen Roslyn Braun for Summer Lunches Donald Buehler Fraternal Order of Eagles; Ladies Auxiliary 449 for large print books at the Norwood Branch Library Jessica Gmeinder
Jack Voller Mr. and Mrs. Phil Amato in memory of Brutus and Bella, beloved pets of Lee and Marcia Johnson Kathy Bach in memory of Olive Inch, beloved pet of Michelle Red Elk Linda S. Cardamone Missy, Elyse & Patrick Deters and Scott Stieber in memory of William “Bill “ Brenner
Raman and Sharon Singh for the Hyde Park Branch Library in memory of David John Cox
Megan Green and Sarah Adams in memory of Russell, beloved pet of Allison Cremering and family
Priscilla G. Haffner in honor of Martha Ellen Garrison Anness’ July 13 special birthday
Lisa Arnett in memory of Vinnie, beloved cat of Barbara and Jim Hammond and Boston Blackie
Erica Heskamp in memory of Buddy, beloved pet of Mary Jo and Joe McKibben
Sarah P. Haffner
Lynn Lanman for the Westwood Branch Library
Phyllis Crawford in memory of Kodak, beloved pet of Pasty and Carl Windisch, and Spanky, beloved pet of Rick Cloud and Adolph Dwenger
Dr. Nancy C. Elder and Dr. Andrew Schwarzery
Linda Ellis in memory of Carolyn von Allmen
Doris A. Fluck
Marv and Jacki Heller in memory of Marcia Austin
Loveland Branch Library Staff in memory of Sadie, beloved pet of Amy Pyle
Dr. and Mrs. Marc J. Pliskin for the Fidelity Charitiable Gift Fund $1,000+
Sara Pearce for the Andrea Cheng Memorial Book Fund
Sylvia S. Johnson Roger Bacon High School for the St. Bernard Branch Library The Dennis B. and Patricia L. Worthen Fund for the Dennis B. and Patricia L. Worthen Fund
Bob Hartlaub and Ann Ivancic in memory of Camry, beloved pet of Alica and Dee Julie Jones in memory of Mo, beloved pet of Ronda Rose
Mr. and Mrs. Paul G. Sittenfeld in memory of Hannah, beloved dog of Maddie Lyons Melanie K. Sorenson Barbara Stough in memory of Kitty, beloved cat of Michelle Lang Mr. and Mrs. Robert Vaughan Greg Voorhies and Gloria Esenwein in memory of Leni, beloved pet of Ruthie Deutscher, Chris Sweeney, and family
Terrence Mangan Judith Masset-Brown Sierra McKenzie in memory of Emmy, beloved dog of Kristyn Saroff Scott and Annie McManis in memory of Triton, beloved pet of the Byerly Family
Mark & Kim Pearson in memory of Barbara Ann Chaldy
Lakeshore Women’s Club for the Greenhills Branch Library
Lauren Shadwick in honor of Michele Reece
Ann C. Regan
Elizabeth Solway in memory of Rudder, beloved dog of Marge and Lou Rauh
Karren Richardson to purchase a Bible for the collection
Roger and Angie Schwarb in memory of Lucy, beloved dog of Dorsey Heithaus
Andrea Lippelman in memory of Stan and Lucy, beloved cats of Robin Lippelman
Robin Lippelman in memory of her beloved cat Stan
Fred Yaeger and Lisa Staggenborg for the endowment and Library programs
Jenna Schmitz in memory of Carter, beloved pet of the Field Family
LibraryLinks | Winter 2018
Nonprofit Org. U.S. POSTAGE
Main Library 800 Vine Street Cincinnati, Ohio 45202–2009 CincinnatiLibrary.org
Cincinnati, Ohio Permit No. 3221
TALES F RO M T HE A RC HI VES
Lincoln flag donated in 1933 to the Library by Hanselman family President-elect Abraham Lincoln was traveling through Cincinnati Feb. 12, 1861—his 52nd birthday—on his way to Washington, D.C. and his inauguration as the 16th president of the United States. A large crowd of Cincinnatians came out to see the native Kentuckian and wish him well. The family of Charles Hanselman claim that when an American flag fell from his horsedrawn carriage as it passed by Sixth Street and Freeman Avenue, it was trampled by some of the horses. Four-year-old Charles, who was at the parade with his parents, dashed into the street to retrieve it. Decades later in 1933, Charles’ sister Alice Isabel Hanselman donated the flag to the Library where it would hang in the board room of Old Main until the Library moved into its current location. The 15–by 21–inch American flag has 34 stars in its canton to represent the new state of Kansas, recognized Jan. 31, 1861. It had a number of tears and its silk was threadbare in some places when conservation began in 2008. The Library Foundation contributed more than $2,000 to have it restored so it could be included in a 2009 display of Lincoln artifacts at the Library commemorating President Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The work done by Jane Hammond included cleaning the surface, applying a silk crepe lined gauze underlay, reattaching the fringe with silk thread, mounting the flag in an archival frame, and creating a treatment report documenting the current flag condition. The hole was left in the flag since it is believed to have been caused by a horse’s hoof. And while we may never know whether or not this flag was actually on Lincoln’s carriage, we do know this flag is from the right time period and the newspaper account and letter from the donor are consistent. To see more artifacts from President Lincoln and the Civil War era, go to Digital.CincinnatiLibrary.org or stop by the Joseph S. Stern, Jr. Cincinnati Room at the Main Library.
ALL LIBR ARY LOCATIONS WILL BE CLOSED Thursday, Nov. 23, in observance of the Thanksgiving Day holiday; Sunday, Dec. 24, and Monday, Dec. 25, for the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day holidays; and Monday, Jan. 1, in observance of the New Years’ Day holiday.