This compelling World War I poster shows an American soldier dressed for combat in a uniform and helmet with a rifle slung over his shoulder. He is smiling and carrying a stack of books as he goes off to fight. The text of the poster urges Americans to donate books for soldiers by dropping them off at a local public library.
The poster is somber and dark, with light illuminating only the soldier's face and the precious books he is carrying. The poster's white text with its plea for books punctuates the darkness. The effect is powerful, as intended. No doubt books donated by civic-minded citizens filled the local libraries.
The Library War Service was established by the American Library Association in 1917 to provide library services to American soldiers training in camps and serving overseas in World War I. Public libraries participated in Library War Service activities by serving as collection points for books.
American illustrator, painter and sculptor Charles Buckles Falls (1874-1960) designed this poster.
Check our our other WWI and WWII posters which provide a unique perspective on the soul of the country during those tumultuous times.