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“The Camp Library is Yours” was one of many posters issued during World War I to encourage support of the war. This poster features a man in uniform leaning against his backpack intently reading a book. The camp library served as a place of recreation and education for soldiers both in the United States and abroad. While the American Library Association would raise funds with the help of the Carnegie Corporation to build thirty-six library buildings, most of the libraries were housed in YMCA and Knights of Columbus recreation buildings or YWCA hostess houses. The libraries were filled with books, periodicals, and even games for the soldiers to play. For servicemen who were stationed on naval ships, the Association sent reading materials to ships and naval stations. For many soldiers waiting to be deployed or already overseas, books became a source of entertainment and solace to fill idle hours in the camps and the trenches. For other soldiers, the camp library and books provided by the Library War Service were a chance for them to learn to read (American Library Association Archives, 2019). This poster was created in 1917 by Charles Buckles Falls, or C.B. Falls, a popular American illustrator and author. Falls painted many recruitment posters for all branches of the military. According to the University of Southern Maine, Falls is quoted as once saying, “A poster should be to the eye as a shout is to the ear.” This meant that the poster should grab the attention of the targeted audience through bright colors and by using short and catchy phrases. This poster was created and reproduced as a lithographic print at the time of its distribution.


WWI, poster, YMCA, Knights of Columbus, lithographic print