You have found an item located in the Kentuckiana Digital Library.
Address (unknown event or audience) American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky LFP_rblue_2_02_04 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Address (unknown event or audience) American Liberty League. 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. ï»¿In returning to you aft or an aboonoc* ui' fifLd-Jii yuai'a I am reminded of a late novel which I recently read. One of the characters was a Virginian, who left his home in the prime of his young manhood to seek fame and fortune in a distant field. After an absence of fifteen years, he returned to his native state to give an account of himself. History sometimes repeats its self, but here is a case where fiction becomes fact. After an absence of fifteen years I am delighted to re- turn to you under these auspicious circumstances. I bring to you greetings of a state where it is said, 1 The moon light falls the softest The summer days come oftest1. I bring to you the greetings of % state which gave to us the immortal Lincoln. I bring to you the greetings of a state whose metropolis was the first city to provide for its colored citizens a free public library with a colored staff. Llr. President, I am grateful to you and a kind providence for the privilege which today is mine. In giving account of my steward-ship during the past fifteen years, I rejoice to say, that every one of those years has been occupied. My first five years were spent as the pioneer secretary of the Colored Branch of the Louisville Young Men's Christian ï»¿Association. -2- For the past ten years I have been a member of the Committee of Management and treasurer of the Association. Dur- ing my connection with the Y. M. 0. A. it has acquired a well e-quipped building at a cost of $50,000 with an annual budget of $6,000. We didn't get in the $100,000 class because we were a little ahead of the Rosewald offer. Mr. President, I desire to speak particularly about my colored people, ten years service in public library work among for this is a new experience. Ytfien the colored branch of the Louisville Free Public Library was established in 1905 I was appointed branch librarian, and have since held that position. As this was the first free public .library for colored people with a colored staff,_it was an Experiment, and like bo many new, untried things, it3 future was uncertain. Some said it was a "Jonah1s gourd affair", others said, â€¢when the noveltty and enthusiasm had subsided, it would die1; but it didn't die, it decided to live and how well, the records tell. The library opened in temporary quarters and immediately became popular and soon outgrew its surroundings. Thefttrustees spoke of it as being a success from the beginning, the first year the circulation was 17,838, the second year ^30,259 and the seventh^ the banner year, the circulation was 73,462 volumes. The new building, the gift of Andrew Carnegie, was opened Oct. 28, 1908. On that occasion W. 0. Head, the mayor of Louis- ï»¿-3- ville and president of the Board of Trustees, presided. The open-ing of its doors was regarded as an epoch in the development of the race, for it was the first institution of its kind in existence * The building occupied by the Western Colored Branch is 77 by 45 feet, and built of brick, concrete and stone with tile roof. The cost, including grounds, buildings and equipment was The library contains 77Avolliraes and receives 91 periodicals and newspapers. The attendance in nine years has been 382,467, and since the opening 7,814 persons have registered as borrowers of books for home use. The library has the open shelf system, which allows every one the greatest freedom in the use of books. The total circulation in nine years was 476,069 volumes. The library serves as a reference library for teachers â€¢ and students of the high schools, ward schools and other educational institutions in the city. It is in close touch with the grade \ /schools through the collections of books which are placed in the ' class rooms. These books are drawn by the children for home use / \ under the supervision of the teachers. A large Â°^ re^^^5^J^^5 "*"3 ^on6 "tlie Pupils of the schools. Information is looked-up on all .subjects, and all kinds of topics.^ Since the opening of the library 25,248 persons have been assisted in, reference work^ , n + cl Zil^.l^^, ^vyPi f&Wc htrv-fL ft, 6^*^V ï»¿This does not include a large number of persons who daily consult thÂ© reference books for themselves. The following lines by Edmund Lester Pearson illustrates our reference work activity: The Reference Librarian At times behind a desk he sits, At time3 about the room he flits -Folks interrupt his perfect ease By asking questions such as these: "How tall was prehistoric man?" "How old, I pray, was Sister Ann?" "What should one do if cats have fits?" "What woman first invented mitts?" "Who said, "To labor is to pray1?" "How much did Daniel Lambert weigh?" "Don't you admire E. P. Roe?" "What is the fare to Kokomo?" "Have you a life of Sairy Gamp?" Can you lend me a postage stamp?" "Have you the rhymes of Edward Lear?" "What wages do they give you here?" "What dictionary is the best?" "Did Brummell wear a satin vest?" "What is a Gorgonzola cheese?" "Who ferried souls across the Styz?" "What is the square of -96?" "Are oysters good to eat in March?" "Are green bananas full of starch?" "Where is that book I used to see?" "Iguess you don't remember me?" ï»¿-4- Aside from circulating books, and furnishing facts in reference work, the library encourages, and assists all efforts to an educational end, and the advancement of our people in the city. The people feel that the library belongs to them, and that it may be used for any thing that makes for their welfare. During a single month forty-five meetings have been held at th library. The following clubs and reading circles meet regularly in the building: Banneker Reading Circle Fisk Club Normal Alumni Sunday School Training Class Girls* Bsading Club Douglass Debating Club Douglass Glee Club Wilberforce Club Big Sisters1 Committee W ^- ; : Story Hour Of the meetings that are held under the direction of the library staff, the Story Hour and the Douglass Debating Club deserve special mention. The Story Hour is the children^ delight, and is held weekly under the direction of a trained story teller. Aside from the pleasure that the stories give, new experiences are brought to the children, their immagination is enlarged, and an interest is created in books and reading. o^^^^^ flc A story telling contest is held annually and prizes^are given to the children who can best reproduce a story told during the year. ï»¿-5 The Douglass Debating Club is composed of High School boys and is under the direction of the branch librarian. The purpose of the club is to acquaint its members v/ith parliamentary usuages, to keep before them the great current questions, and to train them to speak in public. The club meets weekly and a pre- pared program is rendered. Occasionally, a public debate is given, and a prize contest is held annually, program of one of the public debates; semi -Annual Following is a Public Debate and Literary Entertainment DOUGLASS DEBATING CLUB Western Colored Branch Library Monday, Feb. 22, at 8 P. M. Program Invocation Music - SoldierÂ»s Chorus Quotations from American Authors Recent Noted Happenings Items of Racial Progress Humorous Selection Piano Solo Declamation The Character of Washington. Recitation from Dunbar Music - Barefoot Boy Dr. J. R. Harvey Gounod The Club Stanford Redd Edgar Houser Clarence Marshall 3. 0. Wilkerson, Jr V/. L. Kean Aaron Payne Clayton Johns Resolved, "That Germany was Justified in Taking up Arms against the Allies" Affirmative Negative William Mayfield Eugene Rolan Alonze Malone Rupert Bertell Perry ï»¿7 3- Music - Pilgrim's Chorus Wagner Decision of the Judges Benedictio Apprentice Class The library conducts an apprentice class for those who desire to enter library service. An examination is held in June and the class, which begins about September 1st. each year, does three months actual work in all departments, preparing for service, This course has been taken by ten persons. Four of this number came from other cities, Houston Texas, Evansville Indiana, Memphis Tennessee and Cincinnati Ohio, preparing for service.in colored branches in these cities. Arrangements are now under way to accommodate two other young women from other cities. These apprentices had been elected to take charge of colored branches and were sent to Louisville to take training with their expenses paid by the Library Boards, of these cities, j ranch has been so successful and is held in such high favor, that the Library Trustees have established a second colored branch in the eastern part of the city. Thi o lu known as the Eastern Colored Branch Library, and was opened with appropriate exercises January 28th, 1914. John H. Buschemeyer, Mayor of the city and President of the Board of Trustees, presided. Louisville long enjoyed the distinction of having the ï»¿-7- only free, public library exclusively for colored readers in the country. It now has the distinction of being the only city having two colored branches. The Eastern Colored Branch building is 60 by 80 feet on a site 75 by 150 feet, and is especially adapted for library and social center uses. The building, site, equipment and volumes on opening day represented an expenditure of $27,735.43. The report for the first year of the Eastern Colored Branch 3hows an attendance of 42,705 with a circulation of 26,664 volumes. It is a note worthy fact that the opening of the Eastern Colored Branch Library has not affected the circulation at the Western Colored, as the circulation at the latter shows a continued increase each month. This means that the new branch found new readers. The following expressions are selected from letters written by patrons of the colored branches: "The Eastern Colored Branch Library, as an uplifting agency, is the one best hope of our people in that section of the city." A. E. Meyzeek "The library will be a potent factor in the religious civic, and home life of our people." Robt. B. Scott "Its influence will be far reaching in the betterment of the race." W. T. Merchant "The opening of the second colored library is a realization of our fondest hope." A. C. Mclntyre ï»¿7 -8 there is Branch." "Among the many blessings that have come to our race none greater than the opening of the Eastern Colored J. H. Ross â– "We feel sure that it will be of great benefit to our people in all walks of life." W. H. Sheppard The colored branches are a part of the Louisville Free Public Library system of which George T. Settle is librarian. & I have charge of the two colored branches with the as- sistance of Misses Elizabeth I. Finney and Jane J. Simpson at the Western Colored Branch and Mrs. Rachel D. Harris and Mrs. Lillie S. Edwards at the Eastern Colored.