Libraries are some of our favorite places, in my case the sections that have car, motorcycle, boating and general aviation materials are the top locations.  Many vehicle enthusiasts maintain bookshelves stuffed full of writings, videos, dvds and other materials about their favorite rides.  Avid collectors often have volumes of information in their garages along with the machinery.  Northern Kentucky University's W. Frank Steely Library has turned the tables on the collectors and enthusiasts and put a car in the library.  This is the story of "Gus" the Stegowagonvolkssaurus.

Stego, aka "Gus", was sculpted by Patricia Renick in 1974 as a commentary on the oil "crisis" of the 1970s. The artist combined an actual 1963 Volkswagen Beetle (one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles of its time) with the form of the Stegosaurus dinosaur.
Patricia Renick was a faculty member at UC. Other major works in the area include the stainless steel sphere at the entry to the Brighton area in Cincinnati and Triceracopter at the UC Library.
 
The sculpture is 12 feet H x 7 feet W x 20 feet long. It is made of fiberglass and the refurbished body of a 1963 VW. The windows are covered with a mirror-like Mylar.
 
The sculpture was exhibited at the Cincinnati Art Museum in February-March, 1974, the Contemporary Arts Center in July-August 1974, and at the Chicago Federal Center in July-October 1975.
 
While in Chicago, the sculpture was damaged and it was placed into storage for over 30 years. It was the artist's dream to have the sculpture restored and put on display, but that did not happen during her lifetime.
 
In 2008, after the artist's death, Stego was restored through the generosity of Laura Chapman and donated to Steely Library at NKU.
It is displayed very much as a museum would display a dinosaur skeleton or model"”it is on a 12" high platform with a large, museum-type nameplate. The display space is perfect for the sculpture. There is also a photo-essay showing the creation of the sculpture.
The sculpture was restored by Boitnott's Custom Body & Paint in Fairfield, OH. The original "Cadillac Grey" color was replaced by an iridescent grey. Interesting fact: Some of the artist's ashes reside in the sculpture.  Upon its installation at NKU, the inside of the car was signed by all who helped to restore and install it.
 
The Friends of Steely Library hosted a fun road rallye in the spring of 2011, the event will take place again on April 21, 2012.  The Rallye is open to everyone with a driver's license and insurance, takes place on the public roads around northern Kentucky at street legal speeds.  Rallyes like this are a fun way to spend a Saturday morning and support the Library.  2012 sees the additional of a Car Show following the Rallye, now you can drive the rallye and then show off the pride in you ride at the car show!  All in the name of fun and a great cause, don't miss it.
 
More information is available at http://www.wnku.org/post/join-wnku-steely-library-our-2nd-annual-road-rally-and-car-show.  Arne J. Almquist Associate Provost Library Services, NKU, was essential in the writing of this article. Thanks Arne this has been fun. "” Ed.