Friday, October 29, 2010

ALA WWI Bookmark

One of the benefits of maintaining a blog and a website which feature librariana is that people sometime contact you to find a home for some piece or pieces of librariana that they have collected or retained over the years. Such is the case with the American Library Association Library War Service bookmark featured in this post. Thank you Carol. I was doubly pleased to receive this bookmark since it pertains to both my interest in ALA's role in World War I and my collection of library bookmarks.  The ALA bookmark is basically a plea for books or money to assist ALA in its Library War Service along with a list on the back of the bookmark of all the activities being undertaken by the Library War Service. Two activities related to my postal interests are listed. As indicated on the bookmark, the Library War Service "Distributes the Magazines Given by the Public through the Post-Office Department. More than 5,000,000 copies of periodicals have been placed in the hands of our forces."  Postmaster General Burleson established a program that allowed the public to put a one cent stamp on a magazine and place it in a mailbox. The magazines were then delivered to one of the service organizations including ALA that served the troops. ALA camp libraries were sometimes overwhelmed with the number of magazines they received, and unfortunately many of the magazines were of little interest to the troops. Also on the bookmark is the following: "Has Sent More than a Million Books Overseas and Must Send Millions More. By General Pershing's order books are carried free of postage in the Army Post-Office System of the A.E.F." This last development allowed the Library War Service to implement a books-by-mail program in France and Germany (more on this in a future post).

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