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Biography, author unknown, no date unknown 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky LFP_rblue_1_03_01 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Biography, author unknown, no date unknown Louisville Free Public Library Louisville, Ky unknown Is Part of the Reverend Thomas F. Blue Papers, ca. 1905-1935 housed at the Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, KY. This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. THOMAS FCUltTAIH BLUS Librarian Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library Thomas F. Blue, librarian of the Colored branches of the Louisville Free I'ublio library, is a native of tfarmville, Virginia* Ho was educated at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute and the Richmond Theological Seminary, graduating from the latter in the ol a:; of 1898 with the degree of Bachelor of divinity. :.e served an Association Army Secretary of the Sixth Virginia Se'gi'* ment Volunteers during the Spanish-American -7-ar. ITe came to 3 ouis- ville in 1899 and waa secretary of the Louisville Colored y.L .C.A. 1899-1905• For the past nine years he has been a member of the Committee of management and treasurer of the colored branch of the Louisville Y.L".O.A. He has been librarian of the '.70 stern Colored Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library since its establishment in :ieptcraber 1905- As a recognition of efficiency and faithful service, he was appointed librarian of the now Eastern Colored Branch in addition to his former duties when it was opened in January 1914. l!r. Blue is courteous* obliging and Qniiring in his efforts to render every service for profit, pleasure and convenience of the many patrons of the oolored branches. He is held in the high-est esteem by both white and colored citizens of Louisville and is popular with all classes. Vr. Ulue is identified with all religious, social and moral movements for the uplift and improve- ï»¿-2- ment of the race. A very deserving compliment Y/as paid to lrÂ» ilue by ] r. George Settle, Librarian of the Louisville Free Public Library, who Â©aid when he recommended him for this additional honor, "I.-r. Blue is especially fitted for this position which he so admirably fills as the librarian of the Western Colored Lranch* and is as much admired by the white people as he is by the members of his ovrn race. HÂ© is doing a splendid work and for this reason I am pleased to recommend hiia to have charge of both branches.* Mr. Blue lias the distinction of being the first colored man to bo appointed librarian of a puolic library exclusively for negroes in thÂ© United States. The first colored branch of the Louisville Free Public Li-brary was opened in temporary quarters September 23Â» 19Â°5 and the new Carnegie building completed and opened on October 28, 1906. It was th* first institution of the kind in existence. She work at the Western Colored Branch library was so sue essful that the Board of Trustees have established a second colored branch in the eastern part of the city. This is known as the Eastern Colored Branch library and was opened on January 28, 1914Â« Louisville long enjoyed the distinction of being the only city in the inited States that had a separate balored branch library building for colored readers. It now has the distinction of being the only city having two such buildings. These buildings are among the best branch library buildings in the country and are adapted for ï»¿social as well as library uses* The two buildings inclusing sites, equipment, books, etc. on the day they wore opened, represented an expenditure of $68,495* To this cost must be added the current maintenance, v;hioh average* for books, eto* $10,000. a year* The Colored Branch libraries contain 14,000 volumes and receive 91 current periodicals* In eight years 416,557 volumes have been borrowed for home use. The libraries serve as reference libraries for the hitfh schools, ward schools and other educational institutions in the city. Information is looked up on all kinds of topics and all sorts of practical questions are answered. nince the open* ing of the libraries, information on 12,034 topics has been furnished and 20,^71 persons have been assisted in reference work. The libraries also serve as educational and social centers. Aside from furnishing facts and supplying books, the libraries encourage and assist all efforts to an educational end and tha advancement of our people in the city. The following clubs and reading circles meet regularly at the Western Colored Branch Library: Bannecker -Reading OireM, Dunbar Literary Club, Girl*f Heading Club, tttory Hour, Vilberforce Club, Souglasa Debating Clubt Pisk Club, Normal Alumni, Sunday School Training Class arid Y, fÂ« C. A. Similar organizations are being formed by WrÂ« Blue to meet at the Kastern Colored Branch Library. The Library staff consists of five persons with three trained substitutes. The library conducts an apprentice class for those desiring to enter library service. Applicants must have a high school education or its equivalent and pass an examination to enter this apprentice olas$* The class puts in throe iTionths actual vrork in the library in ill departments before they are placed on the eligible list for positions on the staff. The work of the Colored Branch libraries of Louisville, Kentucky is unique, ^nd until recently there wae no thin;: like it elsewhere. Assistants preparing for lihrary work with colored people have been sent to Louisville from other cities for training. Louisville is to be congratulated on ?.»h'it *he has done for the advancement of the colored people through library work and .1 r. .Blue on the splendid i;v.nn» r in whieh he has carried out the * * policies of the librarian.