Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Branch and a Bookmobile for African Americans in Carrollton, GA

I recently acquired a postcard (see above) which shows the Delta Sigma Theta bookmobile in front of the King St. Branch Library of of the West Georgia Regional Library in Carrollton, GA. The caption on the back of the postcard indicates that the bookmobile served Carroll, Douglas, Haralson, and Heard Counties in Georgia. The postcard was mailed on September 5, 1956. The Delta Sigma Theta sorority was founded in 1913 at Howard University and has a long history of public service as it relates to the African American community. In 1937 it initiated the  National Library Project which had the goal of providing library service to African Americans in the rural South.  In doing some background research on the postcard I came across a history of the West Georgia Regional Library titled Yonder She Comes! A Once Told Li'bry Tale by Edith Foster (Gateway Printing Co., 1985) which has been placed online in pdf format. Edith Foster was the original director of the West Georgia Regional Library and served in that capacity from 1944 to 1976. Chapter 8 of the book tells about Foster's efforts to establish the King Street Branch Library and the bookmobile service to serve the African American community at a time when the South was still segregated. For two years Foster drove the Delta Sigma Theta bookmobile herself and set up service points for African Americans in all counties. Foster recounts that in order to be prepared to respond to the question "Are you mixing the books?" each book for the King Street Branch was marked with a triangle symbol. The King Street Branch Library ceased operation in 1967 with the completion of the Neva Lomason Memorial Library in Carrollton which served the entire community.  


Book Nerd said...

Thanks so much for posting this !

Cathy Lawrence said...

I grew up up using the Neva Lomason Library and remember Ms. Foster fondly. The West Georgia area owes her a great deal of gratitude for establishing such a strong library network.