PLSJC Director Alan Hall writes a weekly column discussing library and community news, history, and other interesting subjects.
The starting of a New Year always brings a cleaning of my desk; gathering all of those things that I will need to do year-end reports.
Being an old-fashioned librarian who makes notes on paper, I cleared a notepad that had some of the questions asked of me over the past year.
The Main Library building was a public library the day the doors opened, March 12, 1902.
The original design was a T-shaped building much larger than what was built; thinking perhaps that it would be similar to the enormous structures that Carnegie provided to Duquesne and Homewood in the 1890s.
Another question is when the Carnegie name was removed from the library.
I was asked if we had a text of the speech that Carnegie delivered at the opening of the new library in 1902. He was not present for dedication, and we have no evidence that he ever saw the Steubenville building.
The only documented visit of Andrew Carnegie to Steubenville took place in 1889 and was a stopover on the train. At that time, he mentioned that he had worked here in 1850 as a young boy, running the telegraph during a flood.
A library user this year asked if we could request that publishers send more books to the library. After further discussion, I discovered that they thought publishers sent books to libraries free for the advertising.
And then there are overdue fines. Our collection of overdue fines account for about 1 percent of the total budget. I am asked how we can operate on overdue fines, and the answer is we can't.
Finally, the new question regarding how we will continue to operate with the Internet available.