The Post Library Association
A Short History
In 1969, the Long Island University elected Mrs. Carleton (Winthrop B.)
Palmer to its Board of Trustees. Winthrop replaced her husband, who
resigned from the Board due to health reasons after having served
in this position for over seventeen years.
During her first-year as a trustee, Mrs. Palmer was asked to Chair the
Library Committee for the three centers of Long Island University.
As Chair she originated the idea of the Post Library Association.
Winthrop gathered together several North Shore of Long Island residents
to discuss her plans and these eight members became known as the
founders. The original founders were: Mrs. Carleton B. Palmer, Mrs.
Hoffman Nickerson, Mrs. Franz Schneider, Mrs. Fred Haggerson, Mrs. Ewing
Reilley, Mrs. James Cecil, Prof. E. Hugh Behymer and Dr. Donald L.
The Board of Trustees approved the Post Library Association plan and
the first meeting of the PLA Executive Council was held on January 5,
1970. Mrs. Carleton Palmer served as chairman and council members
were: Mrs. Jo H. Chamberlin, Mrs. Innis O'Rourke Jr., Mrs. Richard
Griffith, Mrs. Lisa Collado Ford, Mrs. Hoffman Nickerson, Mrs. Franz
Schneider, Mrs. Fred Haggerson, Mrs. Ewing Reilley, Mr. John Bernard
Myers, Mrs. James Cecil. Another member, Mr. Vincent Macri, secretary
of the University's Board of Trustees, wrote the by-laws and served
as the first secretary of the PLA.
The Post Library Association was devoted to planning many
cultural and educational functions
for the LIU Post Library (B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library).
The long, T-shaped marble hall on the lower level of the B. Davis
Schwartz Memorial Library was remodeled in order to make it more
conducive for use as a gallery. Carleton and Winthrop Palmer engaged
craftsmen to redesign the walls and lighting. The first exhibit
arranged by Winthrop featured Mexican lithography and displays of poetry
and prose. The guest speaker was Professor Rubin Arango of LIU Post's
Foreign Language Department.
In 1973, the PLA Report began as a joint venture between the
Post Library Association and the Library. This beautifully illustrated
magazine contained book reviews, poetry, and scholarly articles written
by the University faculty and members of the local communities. Its
editor-in-chief, Joan Huntoon, was a PLA Council member who had been in
the publishing field and volunteered her services for this venture.
The PLA Report was widely circulated to all types of libraries in
Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
In the quarter century that the Post Library Association has been in
existence it has contributed greatly to the cultural life on the campus
in general and in the Library specifically.
The more than 300 member families have
generously donated their time and energy to many events that not only
improve the collections of the B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library but
they have contributed thousands of dollars to library scholarship funds
and poetry awards. Waldo Hutchins, a PLA Council member, contributed
a generous gift to refurbish the library gallery. His gift allowed
the Library to have the walls, lighting, and alarm system redesigned,
and the gallery was renamed the Waldo Hutchins Gallery in 1980. The
Hutchins Gallery has become a showcase of fine art with its wide variety
of beautiful art exhibits. Exhibits
sponsored by the PLA have been uniformly praised for their high quality.
The PLA "Friday Night Programs",
a dinner and lecture series, have attracted a wide array of nationally
and internationally renowned scholars. Other events sponsored by the
PLA include the annual book sale, various
readings and special events, such as
museum and opera trips. The Post
Library Association has a long history of service to the LIU academic
community with their many literary and artistic endeavors, and
they continue to expand and evolve as an
organization dedicated to the betterment of the Library and the University.
The Special Collections
department of the library
is traditionally where the Eugene and Carlotta O'Neill Library, the
William Randolph Hearst Art Archives, original
movie posters from the
1940's and 1950's, and the Theodore Roosevelt Collection resides. But in
recent years, and following the original strictures of Mrs. Winthrop
Palmer's generous gift to the library, much rare Irish and French
literature has been acquired. Although they have concentrated on the
Nobel Prize-winning avant-garde writer, Samuel Beckett, an Irishman who
wrote both in French and English, they have collected rare items of
many writers from varying literary periods, both French and Irish.
This collection has grown, in just a few years, to over a thousand titles.
It includes a manuscript of eighteen year-old Simone de Beauvoir,
the first edition of Joyce's Ulysses, and significant rarities
by Yeats, O'Flaherty, Wilde, George Moore, Shaw, French surrealist and
symbolist poets, Seamus Heaney and other
contemporary Irish poets,
others, both well known and little known.