Mattie Herd Roland was the first African American librarian in Alabama. She received her library training at the Louisville Free Public Library's Western Colored Branch in Louisville, Kentucky in 1917. Ms. Roland began her library career as head of the Booker T. Washington Branch of the Birmingham Public Library in Birmingham, Alabama in 1918. The Booker T. Washington Branch provided library services to Birmingham's African American residents and remained in operation for 38 years before being replaced with the Smithfield Branch in 1956. The Smithfield Branch is still in operation today.
See related posts: Dulcina DeBerry and the Huntsville Public Library (Huntsville, Alabama); Sadie Peterson Delaney and the U.S. Veterans' Administration Hospital (Tuskegee, Alabama); and Librarian Education: Louisville Free Public Library.
Sources: King, Annie Greene. "Library Service and the Black Librarian in Alabama." The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 21. 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. 14, 172-173. Print. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Access for African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 50. Print.