Starting a Lincoln Library was not an easy task. Collecting books from people who hardly had any to begin with was challenging. And there was a fire or two. They started over multiple times.
Mrs. William Jennings Bryan contacted Andrew Carnegie three times to make sure that Lincoln received enough funds to build a Carnegie library befitting its rise as a modern midwestern town. He donated $77,000 toward the project. This would be one of the largest amounts that his foundation contributed toward a library.
Eventually Lincoln literally outgrew the beautiful Carnegie library. So they raised funds to build a “new” library. Former mayor, Bennett Martin contributed liberally to the cause.
Bennett Martin is certainly more modern than the Carnegie Building. For one thing, inside the middle of the building is an outdoor space. If you get a chance, take the elevator up the 4th floor simply so you can see this secret garden.