The people of the Eastern Kentucky mountains had been hit hard by the Depression, and many of them had little connection to the outside world. This project brought in librarians from around the state and charged them with establishing routine library services in the remotest of towns. Though many were skeptical of the program at first, demand for books and magazines could barely keep up with demand; further, the librarians also brought news, comfort, and contact to a struggling people.
Here we see a full outfit of the horseback librarians in one town. They often began their day by loading up books before dawn and would return just before dusk. They were paid $28 a month and worked in both winter and summer.
More story and photos: The Amazing Story of Kentucky’s Horseback Librarians
The Boston Public Library has a machine that automatically dusts their books. I desperately need one.
The world seemed to have gone off its spinner this year, making the library one of the few places you could retreat where the pace of life was slower and blessed silence reigned. It is also the place where serendipity thrives.
“The library helps you to see, not only that you are not alone, but that you’re not really any different from everyone else,” the late Maya Angelou once told an interviewer from the New York Public Library. Those are wiser words than pretty much anything that was said in all of 2016. Let’s try again next year, shall we?
—Elizabeth Renzetti, “As 2016 crashed in flames, libraries were the last good place“
Happy New Year, everyone!
I stumbled across this video of Jay Walker’s library in which two lucky little blighters get a personal tour of my personal version of Heaven. If there was a grown-up version of Make A Wish, I’d ask to go there. But it’s just as well I can’t go because they’d probably have to call the SWAT team to get me out and I wouldn’t want any of the books to get damaged in the ensuing fracas.