Kristin Mapel Bloomberg, professor of women's studies and Hamline University Endowed Chair in the Humanities, published 'How Shall We Make Beatrice Grow!': Clara Bewick Colby and the Beatrice Public Library Association in the 1870s
in the winter 2011 edition of Nebraska History Quarterly
. Bloomberg's essay explores how, for a young frontier town, a library wasn't just about books. It was also a means for propagating social values and it created pathways for women to exercise leadership in the community. The article examines how a western town's first privately funded library faced challenges of censorship, public indifference, and competition from an unexpected rival - temperance.
Read an excerpt from the article on Nebraska History Quarterly's website.