Sunday, November 2, 2014

Integration and the Anniston Public Library, Anniston, Alabama

The Anniston Public Library was built in 1918 with a grant of $20,000 from Andrew Carnegie on the corner of Wilmer Avenue and East 10th Street in Anniston, Alabama. The Anniston Public Library was one of 14 Carnegie libraries established in the State of Alabama. Like many libraries during the pre-Civil Rights Era, the Anniston Public Library was segregated. On Thursdays and on the first Sunday of the month, the Anniston Public Library set aside special hours for the city's African American residents to use the library.

In July 1963, a group of African Americans came to the Anniston Public Library to request library cards; however, no cards were issued because the board was waiting to receive word from city officials on whether the group's requests should be honored. In August of the same year, an African American minister by the name of Rev. Jackson came to the library and requested to view The Interpreter's Bible. The staff honored Rev. Jackson's request; however, Jackson was told that he couldn't use the book in the reading room and would have to read it in one of the offices in the library instead. Upon hearing this, Jackson decided to leave the library. These events lead the city and the library board to open the Anniston Public Library to all of  Anniston's citizens regardless of race. Sunday, September 15, 1963 was selected as the start date for integration.

On Sunday, September 15, 1963, two African American ministers came to the Anniston Public Library. The ministers, Reverend William B. McClain and Reverend Nimrod Quintus Reynolds, were members of the Anniston Human Relations Council.  The council and the library board were working together to desegregate the library. When Rev. McClain and Rev. Reynolds reached the library, a mob of angry whites attacked them (the number of persons in the mob was estimated to be around 100). The mob struck the ministers with sticks, fists, and a chain. McClain and Reynolds tried to escape by car, but were blocked in. They left the car and ran. Fortunately, a motorist saw them and picked up McClain and Reynolds, helping them to escape. The two ministers were taken to Anniston Memorial Hospital (now Regional Medical Center).

On Monday, September 16, 1963, accompanied by members of the library board, Rev. J. Phillips Noble (chair of the Anniston Human Relations Council), and officials of the city of Anniston, Rev. McClain returned to the Anniston Public Library. McClain and another African American minister, George Smitherman were issued library cards (Rev. Reynolds was still recovering from the injuries he received during the attack and was unable to participate; George Smitherman went instead). There was no violence or attempts to keep McClain and Smitherman from visiting the library.

The mayor of Anniston, the Board of the Anniston Public Library, the Rotary Club, the Anniston Star (local newspaper), and the women of Grace Episcopal Church contributed to a reward totaling $2,950 for the capture of the persons responsible for the mob attack at the library. The police arrested four men. One was found guilty; however, the case was dismissed at the request of the victims.

In 1964, the Anniston Public Library's name was changed to Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County after merging with the Calhoun County Library. A new building, with a construction cost of $359,397.12, was planned as a replacement for the Carnegie building. Completed in 1966, the new building, funded by $59,397.12 from city; $150,00 from the estate of Luther B. Liles (Liles was once an officer in the Manganese Corporation, chairman of the Good Roads Committee of the United States Chamber of Commerce, and president of the Birmingham-Atlanta Division of the Bankhead Highway Association); and $150,000 from federal funds received by the state, opened to the public. The library is still in operation.


*Note: Sunday, September 15, 1963 was also the same day that the bombing of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama occurred. Four children were killed: Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair, Addie Mae Collins, and Carole Robinson. In 2013, a bill, H.R. 360, was introduced into the United States Congress to have a Congressional Gold Medal issued in honor of the memory of the four girls killed in the bombing. The bill passed both the House and the Senate, and was signed into law (Public Law 113-11) by President Barack Obama on May 24, 2013.

Update 11/03/2014:

See related posts:


The Tougaloo Nine and the Sit-in at the Jackson Mississippi Municipal Library
http://www.littleknownblacklibrarianfacts.blogspot.com/2012/02/tougaloo-nine-and-sit-in-at-jackson.html


The Robert Robinson Branch of the Alexandria Public Library (Alexandria, VA) and the 1939 Sit-Down Strike
http://www.littleknownblacklibrarianfacts.blogspot.com/2011/08/robert-robinson-branch-of-alexandria.html

Update 11/09/2014:

On YouTube, Rev. Nimrod Q. Reynolds, one of the two ministers attacked by the mob, and Charlie Doster, a member of the library board in 1963, recall the attack at the Anniston Public Library (begins at minute 13 and ends at minute 16):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdQuRWk7_C0

Sources: "Hit Clergyman with Chains in Anniston: Negro Ministers Members of Biracial Committee on Social Problems." Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pa.) 16 Sept. 1963: 1. Print. ; "Ministers Integrate Ala. Public Library." The Kane Republican (Kane, Pa.) 17 Sept. 1963: 1. Print. ; "Ministers Enter 'Bama! Library." The Hillsdale Daily News (Hillsdale, Mich.) 17 Sept. 1963: 1. Print. ; Cutter, Jamie Irene. Getting by at the Benjamin Mays Black Branch: Library Access for African Americans in Jim Crow South Carolina, 1940-1971. MLIS thesis. San Jose State University, 2011. 57, 120. Pdf. ; "Racial Highlights." Wellsville Daily Reporter (Wellsville, N.Y.) 16 Sept. 1963: 1. Print. ; "Attacks Charged: Two Indicted in City Cases." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 18 Oct. 1963: 1,3.  Print. ; Chisum, James. "Conferences Delay Start of Trials; Williams Confers with Attorneys." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 12 Nov. 1963: 1, 3. Print. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 128-129. Print. ; Graham, Toby Patterson. A Right to Read: Segregation and Civil Rights in Alabama's Public Libraries, 1900-1965. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 2002. 93-96. Print. ; O'Dell, Kimberly. Anniston. Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2002. 19, 49-50, 58, 71, 79. Print. ; "Mother Tells of Bombing: I Began to Scream..." The Fresno Bee-The Republican (Fresno, Calif.) 17 Sept. 1963: 4A. Print. ; Loh, Jules. "Bomb Shakes City to Its Core." The High Point Enterprise (High Point, N.C.) 22 Sept. 1963: 1A, 6A. Print. ; Thomas, Rex. "Birmingham Quiet but Still Nervous." The High Point Enterprise (High Point, N.C.) 22 Sept. 1963: 1A. Print. ; An Act to Award Posthumously a Congressional Gold Medal to Addie Mae Collins, Denise Mcnair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley to Commemorate the Lives They Lost 50 Years Ago in the Bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Where These 4 Little Black Girls' Ultimate Sacrifice Served As a Catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2013. PDF. ; "Luther B. Liles Will Seek Vote on Bond Issue: Graves Will Be Asked to Call Special Session of Legislature." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 8 Sept. 1930: 1, 7. Print. ; "Highway Meet Attracts 100 to Talladega: Luther B. Liles Represents Anniston Chamber of Commerce at Conference." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 20 June 1933: 1. Print. ; McCaa, John. "Commission Adopts Operational Budget of $2,741,220: Library, Road Hike City Budget Near $3 Million Mark." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 27 Oct. 1965: 6. Print. ; Plott, Bill. "Tribute Paid Liles at Library Opening." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 31 Oct. 1966: 1, 7. Print. ; "Sign Tells Hopes." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 2 June 1964: 1. Print. ; "Mayor." The Anniston Star (Anniston, Ala.) 1 Jan. 1964: 20. Print.

Friday, July 4, 2014

The Indiana Black Librarians Network (IBLN): Empowering Indiana's African American Librarians and Paraprofessionals


An affiliate chapter of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), the Indiana Black Librarians Network (IBLN) was officially organized on October 13, 2001 at the Black Culture Center Library of Purdue University, in West Lafayette, Indiana. It is the first library association in Indiana created for African Americans. The purpose of the Indiana Black Librarians Network is “to provide an opportunity for black librarians to exchange and share ideas, collaborate on library-related projects, promote professional development activities, sponsor scholarship initiatives, serve as a network for the sharing of information between librarians and paraprofessionals throughout the State of Indiana, and to establish channels of communication between black librarians and paraprofessionals statewide.” 

In the summer of 2005, the Indiana Black Librarians Network launched its website.  It also launched its listserv. The Indiana Black Librarians Network gave its first conference presentation at the 2008 Indiana Library Federation (ILF) Conference in Indianapolis on November 19, 2008. The title of the presentation was “Always Here: History of Blacks in Librarianship in Indiana.”  Also, in 2008, the Indiana Black Librarians Network became one of several supporting organizations for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) -funded Indiana Librarians Leading Diversity Fellowship Program (I-LLID). This fellowship program was established to educate and recruit minorities into the library and information science profession in Indiana. Several members of the Indiana Black Librarians Network signed on to serve as mentors for the students in the program.

By the fall of 2009, the Indiana Black Librarians Network had a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and a group blog on Black Librarian Nation, a social networking site founded by Marcellaus Joiner in 2008 for African American librarians.  On October 14-15, 2011, the Indiana Black Librarians Network celebrated its tenth anniversary. The celebration was held at the Black Culture Center Library on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana --- the place where the Indiana Black Librarians Network was organized and held its first meeting. Roland Parrish, a Purdue alumnus and CEO/owner of Parrish McDonald’s Ltd., was the keynote speaker. A year earlier, Parrish gave a gift of $2 million to Purdue University’s Management and Economic Library (the library was re-named the Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics – the first library on the Purdue campus to be named for an African American). Other speakers included Jos Holman (BCALA President, 2010-2012) and Pamela Goodes (associate editor for American Libraries Magazine).

In April 0f 2013, the Indiana Black Librarians Network held a meet-n-greet reception for African American attendees of the 2013 Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference (held in Indianapolis). The reception was held at the Crispus Attucks Museum on the campus of Crispus Attucks High School. The program was informal, allowing attendees to network and meet other library professionals from across the country. Light refreshments were served. The reception was such a success that IBLN decided to plan one for the 2014 Public Library Association Conference (PLA).

In March of 2014, IBLN held a meet-n-greet at the Indiana State Library for African American librarians who were in town for the 2014 Public Library Association (PLA) Conference. The program was informal, allowing attendees to network and meet other library professionals from across the country. Light refreshments were served. Like the previous meet-n-greet, this one was also a success.

On Sunday, June 29, 2014, at the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Membership Meeting and Literary Awards Program held during the 2014 American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Indiana Black Librarians Network received the Black Caucus of the American Library Association Affiliate Chapter of the Year Award (the New York Black Librarians Caucus was the co-recipient).

As the Indiana Black Librarians Network looks to the future, it is hoped that the organization will continue to grow and evolve in its mission to serve, support, and encourage the African American librarians of Indiana.

See related posts:  Purdue University Black Cultural Center (West Lafayette, Indiana) ; and Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center at Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana).

Update 12/01/2014:

See related posts: Willa Resnover and the Norwood Library (Indianapolis, Indiana) ; Lillian Sunshine Haydon Childress Hall: Pioneer in the History of Library Services to African Americans in Indiana ; and Hallie Beachem Brooks: Librarian, Professor, and Indiana Native.

Sources: "About." Indiana Black Librarians Network. Indiana Black Librarians Network, n.d. Web. 4 July 2014. ; Washington, Dorothy Ann. "Indiana Black Librarians Network." BCALA Newsletter 32.1 (2003): 29. Print. ; Dartis, Michelle. "Indiana Black Librarians Network Celebrates 10th Anniversary." BCALA Newsletter 39.3 (2012): 6. Print. ; "Indiana Black Librarians Network Marks 10th Year." American Libraries (Online). American Library Association, n.d. Web. 4 July 2014. ; Piotrowicz, Rebekah. "BCC to Host Indiana Black Librarians Network Conference." University News Service. Purdue University, 3 Oct. 2011. Web. 4 July 2014. ; Holliday, Deloice and Michele Fenton. "We Need Some Color Up Here: Educating and Recruiting Minority Librarians in Indiana." The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges. Eds. Andrew P. Jackson, Julius Jefferson, Jr., and Akilah S. Nosakhere. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2012. 143-146. Print. ; Freeman, Rodney. "A Snapshot of Indiana's Librarians Leading in Diversity Fellowship Participants After the Program Has Concluded." Indiana Libraries 33.1 (2014): 12-15. Print. ; Smith-Woodard, Marcia. "The Importance of Achieving Diversity in Libraries." Indiana Libraries 31.1 (2012): 50-53. Print. ; "ILF Member Elected as President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA)." Focus on Indiana Libraries 64.9 (2010): 3. Print. ; Holman, Jos. "Making the Grade as an African American Library Director in a Majority Community." The 21st Century Black Librarian in America: Issues and Challenges. Eds. Andrew P. Jackson, Julius Jefferson, Jr., and Akilah S. Nosakhere. Ed. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2012. 143-146. Print. ; "Local Librarian to Be Recognized." Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Ind.) 30 Aug. 2014:n.pag. Web. 22 Sept. 2013. ; "2013 ILF Awardees." Focus on Indiana Libraries 67.9 (2013): 3. PDF. ; "Indiana Librarians Honored by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association." Focus on Indiana Libraries 67.9 (2013): 10. PDF. ; Page, John S. "BCALA National Conference Awards and Honors Recipients Named (Press Release)." Black Caucus, Inc., American Library Association 30 June 2013: 1-2. PDF. ; Alston, Jason. "BCALA Announces 2014 Presidential Awards Recipients (Press Release)." Black Caucus, Inc., American Library Association 19 June 2014: 1-2. PDF.





 


 


 

 

 

 

Monday, April 28, 2014

Rachel Davis Harris and the Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, Kentucky


Rachel Davis Harris (1869-1969) was the first African American female director of a public library branch in Kentucky. She was appointed director of the Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library in 1935 after the death of the previous director, Reverend Thomas Fountain Blue.


Harris , the daughter of Susan Davis (later Susan Johnson), was born in 1869 in Louisville, Kentucky. Harris was an 1885 graduate of Central High School. On December 27, 1893, she married Reverend Everett Harris (1866-1936). A native of Virginia, Reverend Harris was the pastor of Plymouth Congregational Church (the church is still in operation). In 1896 the couple had a son, John Everett Harris.

In 1905, the Louisville Free Public Library opened the Western Colored Branch. The purpose of this branch was to provide library services to the African American residents of Louisville. Reverend Thomas Fountain Blue (1866-1935), a native of Farmville, Virginia, and a graduate of Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), was appointed as the branch's director. Harris was hired as Blue’s assistant. Previously, Harris was as teacher for eighteen years in the city's schools. Harris received her library training from Reverend Blue (he had received his training from staff at the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library). In 1912, Reverend Blue started a training program for African Americans -- the earliest known such program in the United States.

In January 1914, the Eastern Colored Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library was opened. Harris was appointed as the branch's manager. She also served as the branch's children’s librarian. Later that year, Harris was the keynote speaker at the dedication service for the Cherry Street Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Public Library in Evansville, Indiana. The title of her speech was “The Advantages of Colored Branch Libraries.” The Cherry Street Branch was a Carnegie library that served the African American residents of Evansville, Indiana. It was in operation from 1914-1954. Fannie C. Porter, one of the students in Reverend Blue's training program, was the Cherry Street Branch's first manager (1914-1915). Porter was later succeeded by Lillian Haydon Childress Hall, the earliest known African American to receive a formal library science education in Indiana.

During the 1921 Joint District Meeting of Indiana and Kentucky Librarians and Trustees held at the main branch of the Louisville Free Public Library,  Mrs. Harris and Reverend Blue gave attendees a tour of the library's Western Colored Branch. Indiana attendees at the meeting were William J. Hamilton, Mayme C. Snipes, and Elizabeth Claypool Earl of the Indiana Public Library Commission; Permelia Boyd of the Scott County Library Board; and Georgia Stockslager of the Corydon Public Library (now Harrison County Public Library).

In 1923, Mrs. Harris and Reverend Blue helped open the Paul Laurence Dunbar Branch of the George M. Jones Memorial Library in Lynchburg, Virginia. The branch was located inside Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and provided library services to African Americans in Lynchburg. Harlem Renaissance poet Anne Spencer, Lynchburg's first African American librarian, was the branch's first manager (1923-1945).


In 1927, Rachel Davis Harris attended the First Negro Library Conference, held March 15-18 at Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Hampton, Virginia. She and Reverend Blue served as two of the conference's organizers  (Blue was the conference chair) and both gave lectures at the conference. Forty librarians were in attendance.


In 1928, Rachel Davis Harris was one of several African American attendees at the 50th Annual Conference of the American Library Association (ALA). The conference was held May 27-June 2 in West Baden, Indiana at the West Baden Springs Hotel:


Rachel Davis Harris (Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, Kentucky)


Rev. Thomas Fountain Blue (Louisville Free Public Library, Louisville, Kentucky)


Etka F. Braboy Gaskin (Gary Public Library, Gary, Indiana)

Lillian Sunshine Haydon Childress Hall (Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, Indiana)


Hallie Beachem Brooks (Indianapolis Public Library, Indianapolis, Indiana)


Othella Roberts (Evansville Public Library, Evansville, Indiana)


Elnora McIntyre Roy (Atlantic City Public Library, Atlantic City, New Jersey)


Rebecca M. Bond (Chicago Public Library, Chicago, Illinois)


Edward C. Williams (Howard University, Washington, D.C.)


In 1930, Harris along with Reverend Blue, attended the Second Negro Library Conference which was held November 20-23 in Nashville, Tennessee at Fisk University. The number of librarians believed to have attended was 71. Louis Shores, head librarian at Fisk University, served as the chair of the conference committee. Reverend Blue was one of the committee members.

On November 1935, Reverend Thomas Fountain Blue passed away. Mrs. Harris was appointed as his successor. She served as the director of the Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library until her retirement in 1942. Rachel Davis Harris passed away in 1969.

Update 5/26/2014:

Rachel Davis Harris is briefly mentioned in an I wrote an article on Lillian Haydon Childress Hall. The article was featured in the latest issue of Indiana Libraries (v. 33, no. 1). The link is below:


Fenton, Michele T. "Stepping Out on Faith: Lillian Haydon Childress Hall, Pioneer Black Librarian." Indiana Libraries 33.1 (2014): 5-11. Print."

Update 07/16/2014:

Rachel Davis Harris was an instructor at a summer training course for librarians held at Spelman College, June 14-July 25, 1930. The course was funded by the Southeastern Library Association and the Rosenwald Fund.


Related posts: A Brief History of Conference for African American Librarians: The First and Second Negro Library Conferences ; Rev. Thomas Fountain Blue and the Colored Branches of the Louisville Free Public Library; Librarian Education: Spelman College ; ALA History: 1928 Annual Conference of the American Library Association, West Baden, Indiana ; and Article on Evansville, Indiana's Former African American Library Branch (the Cherry Street Branch -- A Carnegie Library).
 
Sources: "E.G. Harris and Rachel J. Davis." Kentucky Marriages, 1785-1979. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. ; "Susan Davis." United States Census, 1870. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. ; "Everett G. Harris." United States Census, 1900. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. ;  "Everett G. Harris." United States Census, 1910. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. ; "Everett G. Harris." United States Census, 1920. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. ;  "Everett G. Harris." United States Census, 1930. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. ;  "Everett G. Harris." Kentucky Death Records, 1911-1955. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 27 Apr. 2014. ; Harris, Rachel D. "Work with Children at the Colored Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library." Library Journal 35.4 (Apr. 1910): 160-161.Print. ; Jones, Reinette and Alonzo Hill. “Rachel D. Harris.” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries. University of Kentucky Libraries, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. ; Malone, Cheryl Knott. “Quiet Pioneers: Black Women Public Librarians in the Segregated South.” Vitae Scholasticae 19.1 (2000): 4-8. Print. ; Malone, Cheryl Knott. “Louisville Free Public Library's Racially Segregated Libraries, 1905-1935.” Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 93.2 (1995): 159-179. Print.  ; “New Library Buildings: Evansville.” Library Occurrent 4.2 (1915):  28. Print. ; Harris, Rachel. “Advantages of Colored Library Branches.” Southern Workman 44.7 (1915):  385-391. Print. ; “Report of the Evansville Public Library for the Year Ending 1914.”  Evansville: Evansville Public Library, 1915. 6. Print. ; Fenton, Michele T. "A Great Day in Indiana: the Legend of Lillian Childress Hall." Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc. Newsletter 39.2 (2010): 5-6. Print. ; Fenton, Michele T. "Building Spotlight: The Cherry Street (African American) Branch of the Evansville-Vanderburgh County, IN Public Library." Library History Roundtable Newsletter 10.2 (2011):6. Print. ; Fenton, Michele T. "Way Down Yonder at the Cherry Street Branch: A Short History of Evansville's Negro Library." Indiana Libraries 30.2 (2011): 37-38. Print. ; Fenton, Michele T. "Stepping Out on Faith: Lillian Haydon Childress Hall, Pioneer Black Librarian." Indiana Libraries 33.1 (2014): 5-11. Print. ; Jones, Reinette. Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky: From the Reconstruction Era to the 1960s. Jefferson: McFarland, 2002. 51-57, 69, 77-78, 80, 84, 86, 88-89, 162-163. Print. ; Musmann, Klaus. “The Ugly Side of Librarianship: Segregation in Library Services from 1900 to 1950.” Untold Stories: Civil Rights, Libraries, and Black Librarianship. Ed. John Mark Tucker. Champaign: Board of Trustees U of Illinois, 1998. 82-84, 86. Print. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2008. 33-34, 44, 50, 54, 60, 69-70, 142. Print. ; Spradling, Mary Mace. “Black Librarians in Kentucky.” The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 41, 44. Print. ; “West Baden, Ind.” Indianapolis Recorder 9 June 1928: 7. Print. ; "Library Opened: Colored People of Louisville Looked After." Indianapolis Recorder 2 June 1906: 1. Print. ; Morrison, Ken. "A History of the Lynchburg Public Library." Virginia Libraries 52.4 (2006): 2-3. Print. Doyle, Patricia K. "The Lynchburg Public Library Celebrates Its Fortieth Birthday." Lynch's Ferry (Fall 2005): 1. Print. ; Smith, Jessie Carney. "Black Women, Civil Rights, & Libraries." Untold Stories: Civil Rights, Libraries, and Black Librarianship. Ed. John Mark Tucker. Champaign: Board of Trustees of U of Illinois, 1998. 142-143. Print. ; Parkhurst Erin. "Literary Luminary: Celebrating Poet Anne Spencer." Virginia Living 9.2 (2011): 17. Print. ; "Indiana and Kentucky Librarians and Trustees Joint Meeting." Library Journal 46.7 (Apr. 1, 1921): 318-319. Print. ; Joint District Meeting Indiana and Kentucky Librarians and Trustees, Main Library, Thursday, May 10, 1921, Louisville, Kentucky. Program. [Louisville: Louisville Free Public Library, 1921]. Print. ; "Louisville." Library Occurrent 6.2 (1921): 80-81. Print. ; Jordan, Casper LeRoy. "African American Forerunners in Librarianship." Handbook of Black Librarianship. Ed. E.J. Josey and Martha DeLoach. 2nd Ed. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2000. 28-29. Print. ; Dawson, Alma. "Celebrating African American Librarians and Librarianship." Library Trends 49.1 (2000): 56. Print. ; Campbell, Lucy B. "Black Librarians in Virginia." The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 124-125. Print. ; Jones, Reinette and Alonzo Hill. "Thomas Fountain Blue, Sr." Notable Kentucky African Americans Database: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries. University of Kentucky Libraries, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2010.   

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Wallace Van Jackson: Professor and Award-Winning Librarian

Wallace M. Van Jackson (1900-1982), was the first African American to receive the American Library Association's Centennial Award. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Wallace Van Jackson was the son of Janet and William Van Jackson. He received his undergraduate degree in sociology from Virginia Union University in 1934; his Bachelor of Library Science (BLS) from the Hampton Institute Library School in 1934; and his Master of Arts in Library  Science from the University of Michigan in 1935. He also studied at the University of Chicago. In addition, Mr. Van Jackson was a member of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, the Texas Library Association, the Librarians Club of Atlanta, and the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. He served as a member of the American Library Association Intellectual Freedom Committee, and as a councilor on the American Library Association Council. Before entering the field of librarianship, he was the principal of the Scottsville Elementary School in Scottsville, Virginia.

In 1927, Wallace Van Jackson was appointed to serve as the head librarian at Virginia Union University. In 1941, he accepted a position as a library science professor at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. Van Jackson later became the university's first African American library director. He remained at Atlanta University until 1947 (Atlanta University is now Clark-Atlanta University). After leaving Atlanta University, Mr. Van Jackson held positions at Texas Southern University, the Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), Alabama State College (now Alabama State University), the National Library of Nigeria, the University of Botswana, Mary Holmes College (now closed), and the United States Information Service (USIS) Library in Liberia.

Wallace Van Jackson was one of several keynote speakers at the Second Negro Library Conference held November 20-23, 1930 in Nashville, Tennessee at Fisk University. He was also instrumental in bringing attention to the segregation and discrimination faced by African American attendees of the 1936 American Library Association Conference in Richmond, Virginia. Because of the segregation laws enforced in Virginia during this time, African Americans were not allowed to stay at the conference hotel, eat at the dining sessions, or visit the exhibits. Mr. Van Jackson wrote letters expressing his thoughts and concerns, and sent them to be published in Library Journal, a professional journal for librarians.  His letters generated numerous responses from readers, many of them in agreement with Van Jackson that discrimination and segregation should not be tolerated at meetings and conferences. The unfortunate events in Richmond, Virginia  prompted the American Library Association (ALA) to enact a resolution to never hold any of its conferences in cities that discriminate against any of its members because of their race. It also forbade any state affiliate that practiced racism to become an affiliate of ALA.

Wallace Van Jackson became an honorary life member of the Virginia Library Association in 1972. Four years later in 1976, he was awarded the American Library Association's Centennial Award. Wallace Van Jackson passed away in 1982 at the age of 82 in Richmond, Virginia.

Related posts: A Brief History of Conferences for African American Librarians: The First and Second Negro Library Conferences ; ALA History: 1936 American Library Association Meeting in Richmond, Virginia.


Sources:  "Jackson, Wallace Van." A Directory of Negro Graduates of Accredited Library Schools, 1900-1936. Washington: The Columbia Civic Library Association, 1937. 14. Print. ; Caster, Lillie Daly. " A Special Person: Wallace M. Van Jackson - Librarian, Black Man, Citizen." The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 259-274. Print. ; Jones, Virginia Lacy. "A Dean's Career." The Black Librarian in America. Ed. E.J. Josey. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1970. 33-34. Print. ; "Records of the Library." Virginia Union University Library. Virginia Union University Library, Sept. 1997. Web. 19 Dec. 2010. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 80. Print. ; Jordan, Casper and E.J. Josey. "A Chronology of Events in Black Librarianship." Handbook of Black Librarianship. Ed. E.J. Josey and Marva L. DeLoach. 2nd ed. Lanham; Scarecrow, 2000. 7, 13. Print. ; "Va. Union Gets New Librarian." The Afro-American(Baltimore, Md.)  21 Feb. 1942: 11.Print. ; Barcus, Thomas R. "Incidental Duties of the College Librarian." College and Research Libraries (Jan. 1946): 21. Print. ; "Wallace Van Jackson." United States Social Security Death Index. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2014. ; "Wallace V.M. Jackson[i.e. Wallace M. Van Jackson]." Virginia,  Births and Christenings: 1853-1917. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 21 Jan. 2014. ; "Wallace Van Jackson." United States Census, 1920. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. ; Grant, George C., comp. "Van Jackson, Wallace." The Directory of Ethnic Professionals in LIS (Library and Information Science). Winter Park, FL : Four-G Publishers, Inc., 1991. 231. Print. ; Jones, Reinette. Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky: From the Reconstruction Era to the 1960s. Jefferson: McFarland, 2006. 134. Print. ; Van Jackson, Wallace. "Letter to Readers' Open Forum." Library Journal 61 (June 15, 1936): 467-468. Print. ; Van Jackson, Wallace. "Letter to Readers' Open Forum." Library Journal 61 (Aug. 1936): 563. Print. ; Preer, Jean L. “‘This Year -- Richmond!’: The 1936 Meeting of the American Library Association.” Libraries & Culture 39.2 (2004): 137-160. Print. ; American Library Association Committee on Racial Discrimination. "Report." A.L.A. Bulletin 31 (Jan. 1937): 38. Print. ; "Wallace Jackson." United States Census, 1940. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. ; "Wallace Van Jackson." United States Census, 1910. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014. ; "Wallace Van Jackson." World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 22 Jan. 2014.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dorothy Porter Wesley: Librarian, Bibliophile, and Culture Keeper

Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995), the first African American to receive a library science degree from Columbia University, was the librarian for the Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University from 1930-1973. She was known nationally and internationally for her efforts in collecting, maintaining, and preserving documents and artifacts relating to African and African American history. A native of Warrenton, Virginia, Ms. Wesley was born on May 25, 1905 to Hayes Joseph and Bertha Ball Burnett. She did her undergraduate studies at Howard University in Washington, D.C., graduating in 1928, and married artist James Porter (1905-1970) the following year. Wesley began her library career cataloging materials for the Howard University Library. Wesley later enrolled at Columbia University's library science program (Columbia University's program was created through the merger of the library science programs of the New York Public Library and the State Library of New York). When Ms. Wesley received her Bachelor of Library Science (BLS) in 1931, she became the program's first African American graduate. She also earned her Master of Library Science (MLS) from Columbia University, receiving that degree in 1932.

Ms. Wesley also worked at the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library (now the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture). In addition, she served on the President's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped and the National Trust for the Preservation of Historic Sites, was a member of the Writers Club, and helped organized the Henry Proctor Slaughter Collection at Atlanta University (now Clark-Atlanta University). In 1971, Ms. Wesley published "Early Negro Writings, 1760-1837".  She was awarded the Black Caucus Distinguished Achievement Award in 1972 from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). She married educator Charles Wesley (1891-1987) in 1979. In 1990, Ms. Wesley received the BCALA Trailblazer Award. Dorothy Porter Wesley passed away in 1995. Her daughter, Constance Porter Uzelac (1939-2012) was also a librarian, and served as the executive director of the Dorothy Porter Wesley Research Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Update 9/27/2014:
Janet Sims-Wood recently wrote a biography on Dorothy Porter Wesley:

Wood, Janet Sims. Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University: Building a Legacy of Black History. Charleston, S.C.: History Press, 2014. Print.

The book is available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Alibris, Books-A-Million, and other retailers.

Update 11/12/2014:

See related posts:

Henry Proctor Slaughter: Compositor for the U.S. Government Printing Office, Bibliophile, Collector, and Newspaer Editor and Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, 1874-1938: Noted Bibliophile, Collector, Curator, and Scholar.

Sources: Moses, Sibyl E. "Dorothy Louise Burnett Porter Wesley."African American Women Writers in New Jersey, 1836-2000: A Biographical Dictionary and Bibliographical Guide. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers UP, 2003. 198-207. Print. ; Scott, Diane R. Celebrating African American Librarians. Feb. 2009: 5. Print. ; Battle, Thomas C. "Dorothy Porter Wesley: Preserver of Black History - Afro-American Librarian." Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Diverse Issues in Higher Education, 16 June 2007. Web. 23 Oct. 2010. ; A Directory of Negro Graduates of Accredited Library Schools, 1900-1936. Washington: Columbia Civic Library Association, 1937. 19. Print. ; "Black History Prophets and Custodians: Handful of Men and Women Created Foundations of Saga of Persistence and Creativity." Ebony 50.4 (1995): 90. Print. ;  Dawson, Alma. "Celebrating African Americans Librarians and Librarianship." Library Trends 49.1 (2000): 61. Print. ; Scarupa, Harriet Jackson. "The Energy-Charged Life of Dorothy Porter Wesley." The Black Librarian in America Revisited. Ed. E.J. Josey. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1994. 298-315. Print. ; Britton, Helen H. "Dorothy Porter Wesley: Bibliographer, Curator, and Scholar." Reclaiming the American Library Past: Writing the Women In. Ed. Suzanne Hildenbrand. Norwood: Ablex, 1996. 163-186. Print. ; Campbell, Dorothy Wilson. "Curators of African American Collections." The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 185-186. Print. ; McHenry, Elizabeth. Forgotten Readers: Recovering the Lost History of African American Literary Societies. Durham: Duke UP, 2002. 291. Print. ; Jordan, Casper and E.J. Josey. "A Chronology of Events in Black Librarianship." Handbook of Black Librarianship. Ed. E.J. Josey and Marva L. DeLoach. 2nd ed. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2000. 8, 10-12. Print. ; Sinnette, Elinor D. V. Arthur Alfonso Schomburg, Black Bibliophile & Collector: A Biography. New York: New York Public Library, 1989. 32, 81, 206. Print. ; Des Jardins, Julie. "Black Librarians and the Search for Women's Biography during the New Negro History Movement." OAH Magazine of History 20.1 (2006): 15-18. Print. ; "Biographies." Dorothy Porter Wesley (1905-1995), Afro-American Librarian and Bibliophile: An Exhibition, February 1- March 16, 2001. Broward County Library, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. ; Uzelac, Constance Porter. "Porter, Wesley Dorothy (1905-1995)." BlackPast. BlackPast.org, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. ; Finnegan, Gregory. "The Africana Librarians Council and the Cooperative Africana Microform Project since 1989." Africanist Librarianship in an Era of Change. Ed. Victoria K. Evalds and David Henige. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2005. 38. Print. ; "BCALA Distinguished Service Awards 1970-2010." Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Black Caucus of the American Library Association, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013. ; "BCALA Trailblazer's Award Recipients." Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Black Caucus of the American Library Association, n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2013. ; Wood, Janet Sims. Dorothy Porter Wesley at Howard University: Building a Legacy of Black History. Charleston, S.C.: History Press, 2014. Print.

Monday, September 30, 2013

William "Bill" Passmore: Library Trustee and Advocate for the Disabled

Today's blog post will pay tribute to William "Bill" Passmore, former library trustee, community activist, and advocate for the disabled.

William "Bill" Passmore (1929-1992), son of Ben and Laura Passmore, was born in East Chicago, Indiana in 1929. He was a member of the East Chicago (Indiana) Public Library's Board of Trustees for sixteen years. Mr. Passmore was a 1975 graduate of Saint Joseph's College in Whiting, Indiana, and in 1969 was named "Handicapped American of the Year" by United States President Richard Nixon (Passmore suffered a football injury in high school that left him confined to a wheelchair; his legs were later amputated). Mr. Passmore was also involved with the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, the Easter Seals Society, the Lake County Salvation Army (Indiana), the White House Conference on Handicapped Individuals, the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped, and served on Indiana Governor Otis R. Bowen's Commission on the Handicapped.

In 1976, Passmore was named to "Who's Who in Black America", and on December 10, 1979, United States President Jimmy Carter appointed Passmore to the Transportation Barriers Compliance Commission. In 1984, Mr. Passmore was named "Outstanding Citizen of the Year" by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He was instrumental in the creation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), and received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award in 1987 from Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr.

On Saturday, October 27, 1990, United States Representative Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana honored Mr. Passmore for his life's work and advocacy for the disabled. In 1991, Mr. Passmore received the Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA) Distinguished Service Award. William Passmore passed away at the age of 63 on April 18, 1992 in East Chicago, Indiana.

In April 2013, the East Chicago Public Library held a re-dedication ceremony for the William B. Passmore Career Services Center (named for Mr. Passmore). A video of the dedication ceremony can be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DI9ZJy6mpU

 Sources: Smith, Cheryl. "East Chicago Public Library to Honor William Passmore." Northwest Indiana Times (Online). Northwest Indiana Times, 4 Apr. 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. ; Holocek, Andrea. "Activist Passmore Dies at 63." Northwest Indiana Times 22 Apr. 1992:B1-B2. Print. ; "William Passmore Dies, Fostered Rights, Work for Nation's Disabled." Jet 82.3 (1992):13. Print. ; "President's Awards to Passmore, Wonder." Baltimore Afro-American 13 May 1969: 5. Print. ; "Passmore Selected Handicapped American of '68." Jet 35.24 (1969): 49. Print. ; "A Kiss and Pearl (Photo)." Jet 44.9 (1973): 44. Print. ; Heise, Kenan. "William Passmore, Hero of Disabled." Chicago Tribune (Online). Chicago Tribune, 24 Apr. 1992. Web. 24 Feb. 2013. ; Dorson, Richard M. "Is There a Folk in the City?" Crisis in Urban Schools: A Book of Readings for the Beginning Urban Teacher. New York, NY: MSS Information Corp., 1973. 24, 27. Print. ; Visclosky, Peter J. "William Passmore, East Chicagoan of the Year." Congressional Record 136 (1990):E3603-E3604. Print. ; "Records of the White House Press Office: A Guide to Its Records at the Jimmy Carter Library." Atlanta: The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, n.d. 127. PDF file. ; "BCALA Distinguished Service Awards 1970-2010." Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Black Caucus of the American Library Association, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. ; "William Passmore." United States Census, 1930. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 30 Sept. 2013.
 
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Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Short History of Library Service to African Americans in North Carolina

December 2011 and March 2012, featured blog posts on two libraries in North Carolina that provided services to African Americans during the Pre-Civil Rights Era: The  George Moses Horton Branch of the Forsyth County Public Library (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) and the 51st Library of Camp Montford Point (Jacksonville, North Carolina). Below are some additional libraries that provided  services to African Americans in North Carolina during the Pre-Civil Rights Era:

The first public library for African Americans in North Carolina was the Brevard Street Library of Charlotte, North Carolina. It was in operation from 1905 until 1961. Allegra Westbrooks (1921- ), the first African American supervisor in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library System, served as the Brevard Street Library's manager from 1947 until 1961.

Sources: Ryckman, Patricia. Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County: A Century of Service. Charlotte: Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, 1989. n. pag. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 30, 55. Print. ; Speller, Benjamin F. and James R. Jarrell. "Profile of Pioneers: Selected North Carolina Black Librarians." The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 74, 78. Print. ; Bolling, Christina. "Our Living History." Charlotte Observer 15 Feb. 2005: 1B. Print. ; Ordonez, Franco. "Our Living History." Charlotte Obeserver 16 Feb. 2006: 1B. Print. ; Perlmutt, Davidi. "Allegra Westbrooks: Librarian." Charlotte Observer 4 Feb. 2009: 1B. Print. ; Perlmutt, David. "Black History Month: Crossing the Barrier." Charlotte Observer 1 Feb. 2009: 1A. Print. ; "Allegra Westbrooks: The First African-American Public Library Supervisor in North Carolina." All Things Amy. All Things Amy, 4 Feb. 2009. Web. 9 Jan. 2011. ; Nix, Larry T. "Allegra Westbrooks." Library History Buff Blog. Library History Buff, 4 Feb. 2009. Web. 9 Jan. 2011. ; "BCALA United Stateline News - North Carolina." BCALA Newsletter 37.3 (2009): 14. Print. ; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library. ; Du Mont, Rosemary Ruhig and William Caynon. "Education of Black Librarians." Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science. Ed. Kent Allen, Harold Lancour, and Jay Daily. Vol. 45, suppl. 10. New York: Marcel Dekker, 1990. 111. Print.

 
The Richard B. Harrison Library in Raleigh, North Carolina opened in 1935. The library was founded by Mollie Huston Lee (1907-1982), the first African American librarian in Wake County. The Richard B. Harrison Library is still in operation today, and is part of the Wake County Public Library.

Sources: "Richard B. Harrison Library History." Richard B. Harrison Library, Mollie Huston Lee Collection, 14 Apr. 2005. Wake County Government. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. ; Speller, Benjamin F. and James R. Jarrell. "Profiles of Pioneers: Selected North Carolina Black Librarians." The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 78-81. Print. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 74, 76, 88. Print. ; Grant, George, comp. "Richard B. Harrison Community Library." In Honor of: Libraries Named for African Americans. Jonesboro: Grant House Publishers, 2011. 155. Print.
 

In 1942, the Cumberland County Public Library of North Carolina established the James Walker Hood Library. Built with money from the Work Projects Administration (WPA), the James Walker Hood Library served the African American citizens of Fayetteville, North Carolina. In 1955, the branch was renamed the Gillespie Street Branch Library. The Gillespie Street Branch Library remained in operation until May 10, 1986.

Sources: "Library History & Timeline." Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center. Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, 2007. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. ; "Selected Milestones in Cumberland County's History." Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center. Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, 2007. Web. 31 Aug. 2013 ; "Gillespie Street Branch of the Cumberland County Library." Message from Local and State History Room, Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center. 8 Sept. 2013. E-mail.
 

In 1913, the Durham Colored Library was established in the basement of White Rock Baptist Church in Durham, North Carolina. Three years later, the library moved out of the church and into its own separate building. Hattie Wooten was the first librarian (1916-1932). In 1940, the library was renamed the Stanford L. Warren Library. In 1962, Bragtown Branch Library, another library for African Americans, was opened. In 1966, both libraries were merged with the Durham County Public Library. They are still in operation today.

Sources: Jacobs, Jessica Harland. "This History of Public Library Service in Durham, 1897-1997." Durham County Public Library. Durham County Public Library, n.d. Web. 26 Jan. 2011. ; Grant, George, comp. "Stanford L. Warren Branch - Durham County Library." In Honor of: Libraries Named for African Americans. Jonesboro: Grant House Publishers, 2011. 147. Print.
 
 
The Market Street Branch Library (also known as the Asheville Colored Library) of the Buncombe County Library System served the African American citizens of Asheville, North Carolina from 1929 until 1961. In the fall of 1961, through the efforts of the Asheville Student Committee on Racial Equality (ASCORE), the library system was integrated.

Sources: "Special Events Recognize the 50th Anniversary of the Desegregation of Pack Memorial Library." Urban News 12 Oct. 2011: n.pag. The Urban News Publishing Co. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 61, 127. Print. ; Hendrick, Irene O. "Annual Report of the Colored Public Library, 1946-1947." Transforming the Tar Heel State: The Legacy of Public Libraries in North Carolina. State Library of North Carolina, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2011. ; "Irene O. Hendrick." United States Census, 1920. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 3 Sept. 2013. ; "Irene O. Stewart Hendrick." North Carolina Deaths, 1931-1994. FamilySearch.org, n.d. Web. 3 Sept. 2013.


The Carnegie Negro Library of Greensboro, North Carolina began service in 1905. In 1964, the library was renamed the Southeast Branch Library, and later in the 1990s was called the Vance H. Chavis Branch. The Chavis Branch is part of the Greensboro Public Library System and is still in operation.

Sources: Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 57, 127. Print. ; Grant, George, comp. "Vance H. Chavis Lifelong Learning Branch - Greensboro Public Library." In Honor of: Libraries Named for African Americans. Jonesboro: Grant House Publishers, 2011. 150. Print. ; "Carnegie Negro Library Report, 1946." Transforming the Tar Heel State: The Legacy of Public Libraries in North Carolina. State Library of North Carolina, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2011.
 

The Granville Street Library in Oxford, North Carolina began service in 1942. This library served the town's African American residents. The library merged with the Richard H. Thornton Library (main branch of the Granville County Library System) in the 1970s.

Sources: "Granville Street Library." Photo. Transforming the Tar Heel State: The Legacy of Public Libraries in North Carolina. State Library of North Carolina, n.d. Web. 20 Nov. 2011. ; "Oxford Public Library Negro Branch (Exterior)." Photo. Transforming the Tar Heel State: The Legacy of Public Libraries in North Carolina. State Library of North Carolina, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2011.