Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ohio Traveling School Libraries

We're coming to the end of School Library Month and I thought this would be an appropriate time to do a post about school libraries.  Approaches to providing books to school children in the 19th and early 20th century varied and they fell far short of the modern school library media center. One approach was to implement the traveling library concept in schools.  This involved the scheduled rotation of small collections of books to multiple locations.  Ohio had a particularly robust traveling library program to schools which they promoted through the use of postcards. I have several of these postcards in my collection, one of which is shown above. The postcards depict a traveling library location along with a statement that information concerning this program could be obtained from the Ohio State Library in Columbus. The postcard above shows a library in Union Township High School in Union County, Ohio. The postcards I have are undated but one depicts a horse drawn wagon delivering the libraries. Ohio's traveling library program started in 1896 and continued until 1973. It is a tragedy that after coming so far our school libraries of today are in serious jeopardy because of budget constraints at all levels of government.

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