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Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library Making the Library known to the Community, Negro Library Conference, Fisk University, Nashville, TN, November 20-23, 1931 American Liberty League. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images Digital Library Services, University of Kentucky Libraries Lexington, Kentucky LFP_rblue_2_02_05 These pages may freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library Making the Library known to the Community, Negro Library Conference, Fisk University, Nashville, TN, November 20-23, 1931 American Liberty League. Louisville Free Public Library Louisville, Ky 1931-11-20 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»¿COLORED BRANCHES ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Louisville Free Public Library In organising the public library of Louisville, following the example of the public schools , it was planned to have separate buildings for t)^ colored raacfcecfrs. To this end, shortly after the opening of the main library, a colored branch with colored staff was established. It was opened in temporary quarters, September, 23, 1905, and immediately became popular, soon ont- outgrowing its surroundings. The trustees spoke of it as a success from the beginning. The new building, the gift of Andrew Carnegie, was opened. October, 28, 1908. On that occasion, W.O.Head,the Mayor of Louisville and president of the Eoard of T^U^ees, presided. The opening of its doord was regarded as an ep5B3i33?MSrS3^dl&plii5f!S of the race, for it was the first institution of its kind in existence. This building is 77 x 45 feet with a main floor and basement, built of brick, concrete and stone with a tile roof. The total co3t oÂ£ the plant was Â§40,759.57. The library has the open shelf system which allows every one the greatest freedom in the selection of books. It contains 13,593 volumes and receives 78 per&tidicald and newspapers. The first year, with 3ooo books, the circulation was 17,838 volumes, the second year 30,419 and the tenth year, the circulation including stations and classroom collections was 78, 791. Since the opening, at the close of the fiscal year Â»the total circu- ï»¿lation wa3 84I,?Â§Â§. Tha work at this branch, Known as the Western Colored branch was so successful that the Library Board opened a second colored branch In the eastern part of the city* This, the Eastern Colored Branch was opened with appropriate exercises January 28, 1914. John H. BushraeyerfMayor or the city and president of the Board of Trustess,preslded. For a long time Louisville had the distinction of having the only colored branch Horary in the counyrfc; but other cities have caught fcfce spirit of Louisville and have followed her example. Louisville,however, is still ahead for It liasthe only city having two colored branches. The Eastern Colored Branch building is 60 feet dhd is especially ad3pted for library and social center uses. An additional feature of this library i3 a large riayrooni which is u^ad for games, physical culture exerci33s, drills etc. This plant coat 37,735.43. It contains44,862 volumes and raceives 57 periodicals and newspapers. The total circulation of books since its opening was 144, 704. A large amount of reference work i3 done with the teachers and pupils of the hi^h school, normal school ward schools and other educational institutions of the city. The records shov/ that 52,007 persons have been assisted in reference work. A story hour is held weekly at eaeh library under the direction of trained and experienced story tellers. Aside from the pleasure that the stories give, new experiences are brought ï»¿3 to the children, their imagination is ismoing developed amd an interest is created in books and reading. A story telling contest is held annually at each library and prizes are given to the children who can best reproduce a story told during the year. A third and final contest is held between the two libraries, and the names of the two winners, primary and intermediate, are placeql on a loving cup, given by the Louisville Free Public Librayr, and named H The Cotter Contest Cup Â» in honor of one of the principals of the colored schools, J.S.Cotter,who first suggested a story telling contest.The contest is one of the big event3 of the year and is looked forward to with great interest and enthusiasm. Seven children have oeen winners in the final contests and their names j laced on the cup. At pnsent Louisville is the only city in the country which holds such a "Story-telling Bee11. Of the club3 that are held under the direction of the staff, the Douglas Debating Club is the most prominent. The club is composed of high school boys and wa3 organized in March 1909. The purpose of the club is to acquaint its members with parliamentary usages, to keep before them the great current questions, and to train them to speak in public. Weekly meetings afethe club are hell at the Western Colored Branch, and a prepared program is rendered. A public debat3 and prize contest is held annually. Following are some of the subjects debated in the prize contests; Right ofm : ' â– ï»¿4 Pight of suffrage should be extended to women. The North American Indian has a greater opportunity for development than the Afro-American, The United States was justified in taking up arms against Mexico, That the president was justified in breaking diplomatic relations with Germany, The effects of the European war on the United States have been beneficial. The United States does not need a large standing Great use is made of the classrooms and auditorium of the lioraries for meetings of educational and social uplift. The feel that the libraries a're common mae^ingsi:lacs3f and may be used for any thing that makes for the trowel fare. The number of meetings for a year has reached 498, with an attendance of 11,628. Among the notable meetings held at the libraries are the following: Jefferson County Teachers Association, Ministerial Alliance State Medical Association, Boy Scouts, Parents Teachers Association, : others*Congress, Y.W.C.A. Conference, Annual Y.M.C.A. Conference Kentucky Negro Educational Association, ï»¿City Federation of Colored Women*s Clubs, t Negro Business Men*8 League. The library assists the teachers through collections' of book3 which are placed In the classrooms for.supplementary reading. These books are drawn by the children for home U3ef under the supervision of the teachers. There are 41 classroom collections In II schools. To further increase the benefits of the library deposit stations are opened at desirable points in the city under the direction of the assistant in charge of school and extent ion Following the example of the main library oy request, the work ha3 been extended to Jefferson County. Classroom collections have been placed in 17 schools and 4 deposit stations have been opened. The visit to the county school i3 made the occasion fiflr story telling by the assistant in charge of that work. Among the special features of the library is an apprentice class co* ducted for those who desire to venter library service. Applicants for positions in the Louisville colored branches are required to be high school graduates or the equivalent, and to pass the annual examination. The class servos in both branches and continues from three to six months in the study of library methods and practice w&rk under the immediate direction of the head of the department. Thi3 course has been taken by 21 persons. ^~of this number were sent to Louisville to prepare for library work in other cities-Houston,Texas, FJirmingham,Ala. ,Evunsville,Ind ï»¿MemphisfraRhvilia, and Xnoxvillo Term*, Since their establishment the colored branches have been in charge of Thomas P.Blue, Plead of the Colored Department^ Mrs. Rachel D.Harris in charge of school and extention work,and Mrs. Elnora E.Mdntyre are assistants at the Western Colored Branch. Miss Elizabeth I. Finnsy and Mrs Lillie S.Price are assistants at the Eastern Colored Branch. Miss Hazel Crice, Mrs.Elizabeth Pierce and Mrs. Mattie McElroy are substitutes. The success of the colored branches is ,in a large measure due to the encouragement and generous cooperation of the librarian and heads of departments . Head of Colored Department