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The Way it Was: La Crosse Public Library 1888-1965

A 1890s view of the original La Crosse Public Library building completed in 1888, paired with a 1965 view of the turret staircase generations of children climbed to reach the Children's Room.

A 1890s view of the original La Crosse Public Library building completed in 1888, paired with a 1965 view of the turret staircase generations of children climbed to reach the Children's Room.

Originally the library was for adults (14 and older) only and did not have any services or materials for children or teens until 1905, when a professional youth librarian was hired.

When the room first opened with great fanfare on March 4, 1905, all 850 books were checked out by 1,000 children, forcing the room to close early. Today the Youth Services Department boasts many more materials of all formats, and services and programming aimed at improving literacy while having fun in the La Crosse community.

Come celebrate 130 years of library service during National Library Week April 8-14, with many special free activities and events. For a complete list, visit click here

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Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.


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General assignment reporter

Emily Pyrek covers health, human interest stories and anything involving dogs for the La Crosse Tribune. She is always interested in story ideas and can be contacted at emily.pyrek@lee.net.

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