Last week I ventured into the archived board minutes to find information on the first boards, I wanted more. Therefore, this week the files came out again and I have decided to share random items that jumped out to me, I love stories of the past, even if it is not all good, it allows us perspective and appreciation for the present.
An interesting past rule: Those living in Morgan County, Missouri who wish to use library books or other materials should sign an application for a borrower’s card. Married women should use husband’s name.
April 24, 1953: Motion … that the Morgan County Library sponsor a reading club for colored children. This was in the heat of the Brown vs Board of Education case that was not decided until 1954.
January 9, 1962: Motion … that a proposal for a bond issue in the amount of $75,000 to acquire sites and erect and equip library buildings in Versailles and Stover be presented to voters of the Morgan County Library District for approval in the school elections of April 3, 1962. A two-thirds majority was required; it was defeated 750 for, 623 against.
1966 Circulation: 96,248. The bookmobile accounted for 44,010 of that total, with the majority of items for children. Some of the stops listed: Versailles lower and upper grades, Stover grade school and high school, Stover community, Hardin, Florence, St. Paul, Barnett, Rocky Mt., Syracuse, Fortuna, Fry, Sartain, etc. In the 70s, it is noted multiple times when stops were eliminated due to lack of demand. By 1980, total circulation dropped to 55,174. In 1983 and 1985, both school districts declined bookmobile services, school libraries were growing.
As I was thumbing through records from 1939 – 1980s, I came across a list of handwritten goals. There were 8: 1. Build a decent home for the library, 2. Build up reference material as an aid to high school pupils, 3. Develop closer working relationships with teachers and administrators of the Morgan County Schools, 4. Promote adult reading, 5. Weed out book stock, 6. Develop for the Board a manual, 7. Manual for staff use, 8. Study with Board advantages and disadvantages for the joining a regional library district. This list seems very similar to me. Number 1 is taken care of, but requires maintenance, 2 and 3 we are always working on, 4, yep, just finished a reading challenge and starting another, 5 is never ending, 6 and 7 also require maintenance and 8, well, I mentioned Evergreen in a previous bookworm, we will be making a decision soon.
Husband’s names are no longer a suggestion; my card is Stacey Embry, not Mrs. John Embry. Segregation is no longer an issue, but I am concerned by the continuous uproar over CRT, come on people, we cannot go backward. A bond issue has never passed, and the 1946 levy still stands. Circulation is interesting and a constant issue; I wonder what they were thinking in 1980 when the numbers dropped to half of what they have seen less than 20 years before. I find it fascinating that the bookmobile used to be such a hot item, and then it gradually died; now here we are, less than 40 years after its decline, trying to figure out ways to reach outlying areas (I am hoping to create “honor/free’ libraries, but I have no idea where Sartain or Fry are located).
Random observations, a.k.a things that make me go “hmmm.” The more things change, the more they stay the same, boy, I just don’t know, but it gives me some peace to know that Medicus, Houseworth, Middleton, etc. might have had the same feelings of despair that I sometimes feel. The funny thing about that list of handwritten goals, well, on the back there were 3 things listed: 1. Work at Denver, 2. Work at St. Jo, and 3. Work in Jefferson County. I could get on board with that Denver location, but let’s face it; it seems that if time doesn’t change the main issues of the library world, location probably doesn’t either.
Upcoming Events: 12/8 Story Time at 10am, 12/11 LEGO Play at 10:30am. The Young Adult Reading Challenge has started, swing by the library for more information.