Thursday, March 23, 2017

A brief history of the Crunden Branch Library

Last summer I took an American Library History course and researched the Crunden Branch Library of the St. Louis Public Library system. I was personally interested in the library because it is located next to the abandoned site of the former Pruitt-Igoe housing projects in St. Louis, and I bike by the site all the time. I noticed the building, now abandoned, but still with the name chiseled in stone over the doorway, and wondered if the library had served Pruitt-Igoe. In doing basic research, I learned that that building was actually the second iteration of the branch, and that the first Crunden Branch Library was a Carnegie library from 1909. I found the story interesting and wrote it into a paper, which I then adapted for a presentation at the Missouri Conference on History and finally into a paper for publication by Missouri Historical Review (forthcoming).