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Title: Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library
Author: Library, Louisville Free Public
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Italicized text is surrounded by underscores: _italics_.

  Obvious typographical errors have been corrected.




  An illustrated description of the buildings together with some
  interesting figures concerning their cost, equipment and use.
  Issued to mark the Tenth Anniversary of the opening of
  the first free public library in America
  exclusively for colored readers.


  When you see a book think of the
  Public Library


in the


of the


For Fiscal Year Ending August 31, 1916

                                               Western  Eastern    TOTAL
                                               Colored  Colored
                                               Branch   Branch

  Circulation--adult                           17 821    9 289    27 110
               juvenile                        18 597   18 282    36 879
                                               ------   ------    ------
                                               36 418   27 571    63 989
  Class room collections                                          37 303
  Stations                                                         3 841
  Total circulation through all agencies                         105 133

  Borrowers registered                            632      270       902
  Cards in force                                4 025    1 298     5 323
  Borrowers registered since opening            8 254    1 298     9 552
  Reference topics looked up                    3 493    1 484     4 977
  Persons assisted in reference work
      since opening                            29 501    3 476    32 977
  Pictures loaned                               1 942      805     2 747
  Books added                                   1 484      875     2 359
  Total books in library                       11 269    3 850    15 119
  Current periodicals and newspapers received                        142
  Meetings held in libraries during the year                         498
  Attendance at meetings                                          11 628

Following clubs meet regularly in the buildings:

  Bannecker Reading Circle
  Fisk Club
  Dorcas Literary Club
  Artisans Club
  Girls Dramatic Club
  Normal School Gymnastic Class
  Physical Culture Club
  Wilberforce Club
  Y. W. C. A.
  Douglass Debating Club
  Athletic Association
  Jefferson County Teachers Association
  Ministerial Alliance
  Parent-Teachers Association
  Girls Club
  Mothers Congress
  Story hour

[Illustration: Staff--Colored Branches]



In organizing the public library for Louisville it was planned to
have separate buildings for colored readers. The system consists of
the Main library, eight branches, 230 class room collections in 35
school buildings and 62 stations, a total of 301 centers for the
circulation of books for home use. This includes two branches, 52 class
room collections in 13 school buildings and 6 stations, a total of 60
centers for colored readers. The total circulation of books for the
year was 1,045,077. Of this number 104,771 volumes were used by colored

HISTORY. After the opening of the Main library, the colored branch came
next. It was opened on September 23, 1905 in temporary quarters in a
residence on Chestnut Street between Tenth and Eleventh. This was the
first free public library in America exclusively for colored readers
and it marked an epoch in the development of the race. At the same time
the Library Board purchased a corner lot, 69 by 120 feet, at Tenth and
Chestnut Streets. On this site was erected a Carnegie building which
was occupied: October 29, 1908.

[Illustration: Western Colored Branch]

The Western Colored Branch building is 77 feet long and 45 feet wide
and is built of brick and stone with tile roof. The building has a main
floor and basement. On the main floor near the entrance is the delivery
desk and back of it are large tables for reading and reference. To the
left on entering is a newspaper alcove, the librarian’s office and the
special room for children. To the right on entering is the magazine
alcove, a study room and the special room for adults. The basement
floor contains a large lecture room, two class rooms and supply
and boiler rooms. The building is heated throughout by hot water.
The furniture and shelving are beautiful in design and finish, and
provision is made for free access to all the books. The arrangement is
one of convenience and comfort for those who wish to read or study or
to get a book for home use.


  Site                              $3,105.00
  Improving grounds                  1,123.68    $4,228.68
  Building construction             30,935.33
  Furniture                          1,746.63    32,681.96
  Books, pamphlets and periodicals               10,500.00
        Total                                   $47,410.64

[Illustration: Eastern Colored Branch]

The work at the first colored branch library proved so successful that
a second Carnegie building was erected in the eastern part of the
city. This is known as the Eastern Colored Branch, and was opened with
appropriate exercises January 28, 1914.

The building is well adapted for library and social center uses. It
occupies a site 75 by 150 feet at Lampton and Hancock Streets. The site
cost $5000 of which amount $1000 was raised by colored citizens. The
building is 60 by 80 feet, built of brick, concrete and stone with tile
roof, and has a main floor and basement. The first floor contains the
library room accommodating 10,000 volumes, the librarian’s office, and
an auditorium to seat 350 people. The basement has three class rooms
for club use, a playroom, 37 by 40 feet, cloak room, boiler room, etc.
An experimental garden is under cultivation in the “L” of the building
and arrangements are under way to equip a playground 60 by 75 feet in
the rear.


  Site                              $5,000.00
  Improving grounds                  1,000.00    $6,000.00
  Building construction             19,250.81
  Furniture                          1,273.50    20,524.31
  Books, pamphlets and periodicals                4,500.00
        Total                                   $31,024.31

[Illustration: Interior Western Colored Branch]

BOOKS IN THE LIBRARIES. The libraries contain 13,655 volumes; Western
10,554, Eastern 3,101, and receive 137 current periodicals and
newspapers, all of which are for free use. New books are being added
constantly and readers are urged to make suggestions for additions
which they feel are needed and should be added to the library.

REGISTRATION. Since the opening 8,958 persons have registered as
borrowers and there are now 4,866 cards in force. This number however
does not represent all who use the libraries. There are numerous
readers daily using books at the tables and there are school room
collections which are used by the school children.

CIRCULATION. Since the opening of the libraries 595,048 volumes have
been drawn for home use. The following table of circulation by years is


  1905-06      17,838
  1906-07      30,419
  1907-08      35,910
  1908-09      50,386
  1909-10      58,870
  1910-11      65,175
  1911-12      73,462
  1912-13      72,222
  1913-14      85,995
  1914-15     104,771
     Total    595,048

[Illustration: Interior Eastern Colored Branch]

REFERENCE WORK. A large amount of reference work is done with the
pupils and teachers of high schools and graded schools. Since the
opening of the libraries 27,968 persons have been assisted in reference
work by the librarians. It is impossible to keep an accurate account of
the questions asked and information given.

APPRENTICE CLASS. The library conducts annually an apprentice class for
those who desire to enter library service. An examination is held in
June to enter a class which begins work in September. In preparing for
service apprentices are given three months’ work under the direction
of the branch librarian, heads of departments and chief librarian.
The course has been taken by twelve persons, four of whom came from
other cities, Houston, Evansville, Memphis and Cincinnati, preparing
for service in colored branches in these cities. Arrangements are
being made to admit three young women from other cities to take the
apprentice work with this year’s class.

EDUCATIONAL CENTER. Close co-operation with teachers is sought in work
with the schools. The libraries not only help pupils during the school
life but enable them to continue studies after leaving school.

[Illustration: Story Hour]

SOCIAL CENTER. Aside from circulating books and doing reference work,
the libraries encourage and assist in all efforts to the advancement of
our citizens to a social betterment. The people are made to feel that
the libraries belong to them and that they may be used for anything
that makes for the public welfare. During a single month forty meetings
have been held in the buildings. The following clubs and reading
circles meet regularly:

  Artisan’s Club
  Banneker Reading Circle
  Bena Mowya Club
  Big Sisters’ Committee
  Douglass Debating Club
  Douglass Glee Club
  Fisk Club
  Girls’ Club
  Girls’ Gymnastic Club
  I. K. B. Club
  Jefferson County Teachers’ Institute
  Mu-So-Lit Reading Club
  Normal Alumni
  Normal School Gymnastic Class
  Parent Teachers’ Association
  Story Hour
  Sunday School Training Class
  Wilberforce Club
  Y. W. C. A.

[Illustration: Douglass Debating Club]

MEETINGS IN THE LIBRARIES. The Story Hour is the children’s delight
and is held weekly under the direction of a trained storyteller. In
addition to the pleasure that the stories give, new experiences are
brought to the children, their imagination is enlarged and an interest
is created in books and reading. A story telling contest is held
annually and prizes are given to the children who can best reproduce a
story told during the year.

The Douglass Debating Club is composed of high school boys and meets
weekly under the direction of the branch librarian. 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. Public debates are given occasionally and a prize contest is
held annually. Following are some of the subjects debated:

  “That the right of suffrage should be extended to women.”

  “That the influence of women has contributed more to civilization
  than that of men.”

  “That the North American Indian has had greater opportunity for
  development than the Afro-American.”

  “That Lincoln was a greater American than Washington.”

  “That the United States was justified in taking up arms against

  “That Germany was justified in taking up arms against the Allies.”

  “That the United States should interfere to stop the internal strife
  in Mexico.”


The following expressions are selected from letters written by patrons
of the Colored Branches:

  “Next to the Public School, I regard the Public Library as the most
  important educational institution in the city for our people.”

                                W. B. MATTHEWS, _Principal_
                                Central Colored High School

  “The influence of the Public Library has been constantly and
  definitely noted in the elevation of the tastes and the enlargement
  of the capacities of our people.”

                                A. E. MEYZEEK, _Principal_
                                Colored Normal School

  “Words cannot measure the benefits we receive from our Library. It
  has given both old and young a new world to live in.”

                                JOSEPH S. COTTER, _Principal_
                                S. Coleridge Taylor Colored School

  “For information, the dissemination of intelligence and the
  consequent advancement of general culture for the colored people of
  Louisville, the Public Library outranks any other single agency.”

                                G. M. MCCLELLAN, _Principal_
                                Paul Dunbar Colored School

  “The Public Library is the center for intellectual improvement and a
  positive force in the civic uplift for our people in Louisville.”

                                G. W. JACKSON, _Principal_
                                Lincoln Colored School

  “The Colored Branches are potent factors in making intelligent,
  cultured and useful citizens.”

                                LUCIE N. DUVALLE, _Principal_
                                Phyllis Wheatley Colored School

  “We have found the Public Library exceedingly helpful alike to
  teachers and to pupils.”

                                WILLIAM H. PERRY, _Principal_
                                Western Colored School

  “The Public Library gives educational advantages to the colored youth
  of the community which means a better citizenship.”

                                BESSIE L. ALLEN, _Probation Officer_
                                Juvenile Court

  “The tenth anniversary of the Colored Public Library--we are ten
  years old in good thoughts and good books.”

                                D. LEROY FERGUSON, _Rector_
                                Church of Our Merciful Saviour

  “There are more colored people reading in Louisville now than in any
  time since the days of freedom. This opportunity has been given them
  by the Public Library.”

                                REV. C. H. PARRISH, _President_
                                Kentucky Home Finding Society

  “The Colored Branch Library in Louisville has been the harbinger of
  countless blessings to our colored citizens.”

                                REV. JESSE B. COLBERT, _Presiding Elder_
                                A. M. E. Zion Church

  “After ten years--I can say that nothing has been instituted in our
  city in this same length of time which has meant as much for the
  general culture of our people as has the Public Library.”

                                C. B. ALLEN, _Pastor_
                                Knox Presbyterian Church

  “No greater blessing has come to the colored people of Louisville in
  the form of an institution than the Public Library.”

                                E. G. HARRIS, _Pastor_
                                Plymouth Congregational Church

  “The Public Library has been of more value to the community than we
  can possibly express.”

                                DR. W. H. SHEPPARD,
                                Former Missionary to Africa

  “The Colored Library in Louisville as a public institution is not
  only profitable but indispensable to our people.”

                                DR. P. R. PETERS, _Editor_
                                The Colored Herald

  “The Library since its establishment has proven to be the most
  valuable asset of the community.”

                                LEE L. BROWN, _Editor_
                                Louisville News

  “The two Colored Branch libraries have met a great need among our
  people in their general development.”

                                C. H. BULLOCK, _Secretary_
                                Colored Y. M. C. A.

  “I have watched with interest the growth of the Public Library and
  its influence upon the people and I desire to state that it is in
  many ways exceedingly helpful and beneficial.”

                                WM. H. STEWARD, _President_
                                Louisville Negro Business Men’s League

  “I regard the Public Library as incomparably the most Important
  auxiliary in the city to the educational system for our people.”

                                DR. E. D. WHEDBEE, _President_
                                Red Cross Association

  “The value of the Public Library as a factor in the race’s uplift
  intellectually, morally and spiritually cannot be overestimated.”

                                J. R. HARVEY, _Pastor_
                                Quinn’s Chapel, A. M. E. Church

  “The Colored Branch Library has proven a decided advantage and an
  inspiration to the colored people of Louisville.”

                                W. J. WALLS, _Pastor_
                                Broadway A. M. E. Zion Church



  JOHN H. BUSCHEMEYER           President
  BENNETT H. YOUNG         Vice President
  W. H. BARTHOLOMEW             Secretary


  GEORGE T. SETTLE, Librarian


  THOMAS F. BLUE, Branch Librarian
  LIZZIE B. EVANS, Substitute


  Tenth and Chestnut Streets

  Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  Sundays and holidays 2 to 9 p.m.

  Lampton and Hancock Streets

  Hours: 2 to 9 p.m. daily including
  Sundays and holidays

  Libraries closed all day Fourth of July and Christmas

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