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Library Association

Description of Lawrence Library Reading Room, 1867

That said, the library's roomful of books was nothing to sniff at.  

Descriptions of the reading room show it to be full of curiosities and specimens on display. In addition to its many books, the library owned a chess set patrons could rent out for 25 cents per session.

The library continued to be immensely popular, and with the proceeds from subscriptions and lectures and the generosity of donors, the reading room quickly filled up with new books and objects. The 1870 annual report published in the Daily Kansas Tribune reported,

The Reading Room, which was thought too large three years since, has become so filled with books, curiosities and pictures that it is now entirely too small for the use of the association, and a larger apartment has become a necessity to its growth and usefulness.  One better situated and more accessible should be procured immediately.

This was not the first time the library had run out of a space people thought it would never fill—see Boughton's 1866 move to the George Leis Drugstore building—and it would by no means be the last.  Prepare yourself for repeated deja vu.

However, rather than procure a larger room,

The association decided to turn the control of the library to the city,

which could better serve the growing population of library patrons.  In 1871, the city accepted the association's proposal and created the Lawrence City Library.