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<Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky>

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Ashland Colored Branch Library (Boyd County, KY)
Start Year : 1935
The location of the Ashland Colored Branch Library was not given in the 1935 Library Annual Report that was submitted to the Kentucky Library Commission by the Ashland Public Library. Services were not provided to Negroes at the main library. The colored library was located within the Booker T. Washington School according to the 1947 Library Annual Report that was submitted to the Library Extension Division by the Ashland Public Library. The library had been located in the school as early as 1941. Emma Brown Horton served as the librarian from 1941-1947. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky

Bowling Green Colored Branch Library (Warren County, KY)
Start Year : 1945
End Year : 1956
The Bowling Green Colored Branch Library opened in June of 1945 at 322 Chestnut Street. The books came from the Bowling Green-Warren County Library and in 1946 there were 3,000 volumes used by 347 patrons. Mrs. C. S. Poole was in charge of the colored branch. In 1947, the library was moved into two rooms of a private residence, the home of Miss Bessie Woods at 412 State Street, and Mrs. L. H. Wilson was the new librarian. Lottie Bell Crabtree was the librarian in 1952, she resigned in 1956, the year the colored library was closed. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "With librarians and libraries in Kentucky," Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, II, p.13; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1946 submitted to the Kentucky Library Extension Division from the Bowling Green-Warren County Library; Growing with Bowling Green by J. Jeffrey; and "Formal opening of branch library for colored people scheduled today," Park City Daily News, 11/02/1947, p.1.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Bowling Green, Warren County, Kentucky

Colored Libraries in the Charlotte Court and Aspendale Housing Projects, Lexington, KY (Fayette County)
Start Year : 1940
Charlotte Court was the first segregated housing projects in Lexington, KY. The completed complex had 52 apartment buildings in 1939, the year residents submitted a request to the Manchester Street Library for a colored branch on the grounds of the housing projects. The request was accepted and the branch opened in March of 1940. It was the first colored library in Lexington. The branch was managed by a separate library board made up of Negro members only. The library contained 250 duplicate books received from the Manchester Street Library. Both the Charlotte Court Colored Branch and the Manchester Street Library operated as an independent organization that was NOT connected to the Lexington Public Library. The Manchester Street Library was managed by the Junior League, a women's organization. The Junior League had established a library in the Abraham Lincoln School. The school was attended by white students only. In order to continue to provide the students with library books during the summer months, the Manchester Street library was established in 1939 with 500 books in a nearby storeroom. After the Charlotte Court branch opened, the Manchester Street Library received a request for a lending library in Aspendale, a segregated housing projects on the east side of Lexington. The Aspendale branch library was also managed by a separate library committee. The library was located in the recreation room of the Charles Young Community Center on East Third Street, with Mrs. Harrietta Jackson as librarian [source: Herald-Leader photo collection at UK Special Collections, Audio-Visual Archives, Series 1.13, Item 68]. Both the Aspendale and the Charlotte Court libraries submitted their monthly reports to the Manchester Street Library Committee. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; A. K. Buckley, "The Manchester Street Library, Lexington," Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, v.9, pp.27-29; and "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1940 submitted to the Kentucky Library Extension Division.

 See photo image of the Aspendale Branch of the Manchester Street Library in the Charles Young Community Center in Lexington, KY, image within UKnowledge.
Subjects: Housing Authority, The Projects, Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Women's Groups and Organizations, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Columbia Colored Library (Adair County, KY)
Start Year : 1908
In 1908, school teacher Parker Jackman and others establish a colored library in Columbia, KY. Jackman placed an ad in the Adair County News, 12/09/1908, p.1, col.5, to encourage the completion of the library. "Professor Parker Jackman is anxious to complete the colored library which was started several months ago. He has collected a number of books and there are many other persons about town who have promised to contribute, but they have not as to yet done so." The article does not give the location of the library. There is no record of the library in the Kentucky Library Commission reports. The other library in town was the Columbia Library which was segregated between 1911 and 1956, and a Miss Anderson was the teacher/librarian at the Columbia Colored School in 1935 [source: Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones].
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Columbia, Adair County, Kentucky

Danville Colored Branch Library (Boyle County, KY)
Start Year : 1919
End Year : 1937
Between 1919 and 1937, there were at least three colored libraries in Danville, KY. In 1919, the Paul Dunbar Branch Library for Colored People was opened on South Broadway in Danville, KY. Elizabeth Tunis, a librarian at the Danville Library for whites, is credited for establishing the colored library. The facility was managed by Martha Pearl Rowe Patton. The library was supported by fifty library members until it closed in 1922. That same year, on March 11, 1922, a colored branch library was opened in the Paul Dunbar School for Negroes under the supervision of the Danville Library Board. It cost $1 per year membership for use of the books, and the charge was two cents per day for overdue fines. A third public library branch was opened in 1929 at Bate High School under the supervision of the Danville Board of Education. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; A Century of Library Service, 1893-1993 by R. Brown; and "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report," for 1922 and for 1929, both were submitted to the Kentucky Library Commission by the Danville Public Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Eastern Colored Branch Library, Louisville, KY (Jefferson County)
Start Year : 1914
The Eastern Colored Branch Library opened in Louisville on January 28, 1914; it was the second Carnegie Colored Library built in the U.S. At that time, Louisville was the only city in the U.S. with two Colored libraries. There was an earlier library referred to as the East End Branch of the Colored Library. It was established in January of 1907 and was located in Eastern School. Assistant Librarian, Mrs. E. G. Harris [Rachel Davis Harris], was in charge of the collection. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones; and "Confirmation classes held," Freeman, 01/19/1907, p.1.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Frankfort Colored Library (Franklin County, KY)
Start Year : 1938
End Year : 1962
In the late 1930s, the WPA established a colored branch library in Frankfort, KY, according to the June 1944 Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, v.9, p.29. The library came about with the assistance of Mrs. Robert M. Fort, a member of the Frankfort Library Board. The library was closed by 1943 when the WPA financial support ended, and Mrs. Fort asked that the colored library be reopened. A building at 306 Mero Street, a three room house, was purchased and leased to the Frankfort Public Library by Mr. J. M. Perkins. There was an agreement between Perkins and the library: as long as the building was used as a library, there would be no charge for the lease. The library was managed by trained African American librarians, two of whom were Alice Simpson and Anna M. Wolfe, the mother of George C. Wolfe. The Frankfort Colored Branch Library closed in 1962. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; and "With librarians and libraries in Kentucky," Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, II, p.13.

See photo image of a colored library [unknown location] created by the WPA, the image is part of the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives [KDLA] Electronic Records Archives.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Frankfort, Franklin County, Kentucky

Georgetown Colored Branch Library (Scott County, KY)
Start Year : 1923
End Year : 1956
The Georgetown Colored Branch Library was established in 1923 in the home economics room in the Ed Davis High School with Betty Webb as the librarian. She was assisted in the library by high school girls. Betty Webb was also the home economics teacher at the school, she was a graduate of Kentucky Industrial College [now Kentucky State University]. She received library training at Morehouse-Spelman Library Institute for Negro Librarians in 1930. The colored library was established with the help of Rachel D. Harris who was a librarian at the Louisville Free Library Colored Department. The Georgetown Colored Library shelves were filled with discarded books from the Georgetown Public Library that was segregated. The colored branch library was renamed the Charles Steele Branch in 1933. There were also county libraries for colored teachers in Scott County between 1895-1908. The Georgetown Public Library reported to the Kentucky Library Extension Division in 1956 that there were unrestricted library services to Negroes. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1923, submitted to the Kentucky Library Commission from Georgetown Public Library; Report of the Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of Kentucky for Two Years Ended...for the years 1895-1908; M. M. Spradling, "Black librarians in Kentucky" in The Black Librarian in the Southeast by A. I. Phinazee; Directory of Kentucky Librarians, 1st ed. by the Junior Members Round Table of the Kentucky Library Association; and Report of the Library Institute for Negro Librarians, Atlanta, 1930 written by Charlotte Templeton.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky

Henderson Colored Branch Library (Henderson County, KY)
Start Year : 1904
End Year : 1954
In 1904, Henderson Carnegie Public Library built the first library structure for African Americans in the United States. The library, a room built onto the back of the Eighth Street Colored School, held 100 books on the seven shelves constructed by J. B. Williams and H. J. Renn. The library was built without the permission of the Carnegie Corporation, resulting in the Henderson Public Library being put on the Carnegie default list. The branch was merged into the main library in 1954. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Henderson, Henderson County, Kentucky

Hopkinsville Colored Library (Christian County, KY)
Start Year : 1936
In 1895, there was a colored library club in Hopkinsville, KY. According an article in the Earlington Bee newspaper, New York banker, J. C. Latham made a handsome donation to the club ["Our colored citizens," 03/28/1895, p.4]. Latham was a native of Hopkinsville. In 1936, the colored library was housed in the Church of the Good Shepherd on Second and Campbell Streets in Hopkinsville. The library had 1,000 volumes. The city commission donated 150 bushels of coal so that the library could remain open during the winter months. The library committee members were Rosa M. Hopson, Ora L. Brewer, and Dolly R. Brown. For more see "Colored library to be helped by city," Kentucky New Era, 10/24/1936, p.6].
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Laura Carroll Colored Branch Library, Lexington, KY (Fayette County)
Start Year : 1949
End Year : 1951
Planning by the Lexington Public Library for a colored branch library started in 1947. The property at 572 Georgetown Street was leased from Letitia Hobbs. A naming contest was held at the Booker T. Washington School, organized by the principal, Lucy H. Smith. Student Helen Henderson won the contest with the name Laura Carroll for the new colored branch library. Laura Carroll had died in 1939, she had been a primary school teacher at Chandler Normal School for Colored Children. Her personal library had been donated to the Booker T. Washington School. The Laura Carroll Library opened in June of 1949 with Mrs. Daisy Combs as the head librarian on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday [she was employed at the Aspendale Library on alternate days]. Genevie Covington was in charge of the Laura Carroll Library on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Elizabeth Botts worked during the supper hours and other times when needed. The Laura Carroll Library was the only Negro branch library established by the Lexington Public Library. In January of 1951, the trustees of the Lexington Public Library adopted a resolution to close the Laura Carroll Library. No reason for the closing was recorded in the records. The three Negro librarians were notified that there services would no longer be needed after February 28,1951. Library service to the Georgetown Street area would be replaced by bookmobile services. The 1951 Library Annual Report from the Lexington Public Library stated that services were provided at the main library with no segregation. The Laura Carroll Colored Branch Library in Lexington was one of the last segregated libraries to be established in Kentucky. For more information and citations see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones. See also the NKAA entries Charlotte Court and Aspendale Libraries and Colored Reading Room.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Middlesboro Colored Library (Bell County, KY)
Start Year : 1932
The first colored library in Middlesboro, KY, was located in the Methodist Church in October of 1932. The church was demolished in 1933, followed by a protest for the re-establishing of a colored library since colored citizens paid taxes that supported the public library for whites but were denied access to the public library. In 1940, it was suggested that the colored library be located in a funeral home. The NAACP Office objected. In spite of the objection, the library was placed in the Johnson, Baker, & Mitchell Funeral Home at 415 Nineteenth Street in Middlesboro. The business donated the space, lights, and janitorial services. The City of Middlesboro provided shelving and paid an attendant $35 per month to maintain the collection of 800 books. The NAACP Office continued their protest. There continued to be a colored library in Middlesboro in the 1940s and early 1950s; according to articles in the Middlesboro Daily News, a donation and disbursement of $35 was processed for the colored library by H. H. Hutcheson, Collector [issue July 19, 1943, p.7], and by G. C. Owen, Clerk and Collector [issue June 20, 1949, p.8]; and the Middlesboro Book Club dues were used to buy magazines for the main library and the colored libraries ["The Middlesboro Book Club...," March 7, 1951, p.1]. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1932 and 1933 submitted to the Kentucky Library Commission from the Middlesboro Public Library; A History of Blacks in Kentucky by M. B. Lucas and G. C. Wright; and Miller's Middlesboro, Ky, City Directory, 1950-1951.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Middlesboro, Bell County, Kentucky

Mt. Sterling Colored Library (Montgomery County, KY)
Start Year : 1914
In 1914, a program was held for the benefit of the colored library in the Keas Tabernacle C. M. E. Church in Mt. Sterling, KY [source: "Mt. Sterling (Ky.) News (By Arlington)," Freeman, 11/21/1914, p.4]. It is not known how long the library may have existed.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky

Negro Traveling Library (Fulton County, KY)
Start Year : 1910
The first state-supported Negro traveling library in Kentucky was established in 1910 at a Colored school in Fulton County. By 1926 the traveling library was one of two that served African Americans; the other was in Delaware. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Grade Schools & High Schools in Kentucky, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Fulton County, Kentucky / Delaware

Pikeville Colored Branch Library (Pike County, KY)
Start Year : 1945
End Year : 1946
The Pikeville Colored Branch Library was opened in 1945 in the Perry Cline Colored School. School principal William R. Cummings served as the librarian and selected books for the library from the Pikeville Public Library. The library was a short-lived venture; a disagreement between the school and the public library led to the colored library being closed in 1946. William R. Cummings left the Perry Cline Colored School for a teaching job in Dayton, OH [source: KNEA Journal, November 1945, v.17, no.1, p.26]. The Red Robin Library in Robin, KY, provided services to Negroes beginning in 1945, the library was owned by the Eastern Coal Company. No annual reports were received from the library after 1946. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1945 submitted to the Kentucky Library Extension Division from the Pikeville Public Library, and the report submitted from the Red Robin Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Robin and Pikeville, Pike County, Kentucky

Pineville Colored Branch Library (Bell County, KY)
Start Year : 1946
The Pineville Public Library provided services to Negroes with a branch library, and for those who lived in the county area, there were ten deposit stations, according to the 1946 Library Annual Report. The location of the branch and stations was not included in the report. The Pineville Public Library had also reported in the 1942 Library Annual Report that there were unrestricted library services to Negroes. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Pineville, Bell County, Kentucky

Princeton Colored Branch Library (Caldwell County, KY)
Start Year : 1944
End Year : 1953
The Princeton Colored Branch Library was located in the Dotson High School, and opened October 1, 1944. The shelves were filled with books withdrawn from the Princeton public library. The principal's wife, Mrs. E. R. Hampton was hired as the librarian. The Princeton Board of education provided the room, heat, and lighting. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; "[Kentucky] Library Annual Report" for 1944-1953 submitted to the Kentucky Library Extension Division from the George Coon Memorial Library.
Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky

Richmond Colored Branch Library (Madison County, KY)
Start Year : 1942
The Richmond Colored Library was located in the Richmond Colored School. The library was a branch of the Altrusa Club Library. The club had formed a library for whites with the assistance of the WPA pack horse libraries. When funding for the pack horse libraries was discontinued, the WPA financed a librarian's salary and donated at least 1,000 books to organizations within a town that was willing to take on the responsibility of a public library. The Altrusa Club library opened in Richmond on August 21, 1941, and the following year the Richmond Colored Branch Library was opened within the colored school. The library had 200 books and was managed by school principal Joseph Fletcher and his wife Margaret who was a teacher at the school. More books were to be added to the collection if the library was actually used by the public. There are no annual reports about the library and it is not known how long the library continued as a public library. The Richmond Public Library, a Woman's Club Library, did not provide services to Negroes prior to 1956, but the library did provide discarded and duplicate books and periodicals to the Richmond Colored School library. There was also bookmobile services in the community. For more see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones; and J. Barrow, "Richmond Public Library," Bulletin of the Kentucky Library Association, v.8, p.15.

Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky

Western Colored Branch Library, Louisville, KY (Jefferson County)
Start Year : 1905
The library originally opened on September 23, 1905, in a home in Louisville, KY; the books were shelved in three rooms. In 1908, permission was sought and funds were received from the Carnegie Corporation, and a permanent library was built at the corner of Tenth and Chestnut Streets. It was the first Carnegie Colored Library in the United States; it still operates at the same location. From 1912-1931, the library housed the first library training program for African Americans in the United States. This was also the period when Louisville hired more African American librarians than any other city in the U.S. In addition to the library, the Western Colored Branch Library supported 69 classroom collections in 26 colored schools in Louisville, and a number of deposit library stations within Negro businesses and organizations. For more see A Separate Flame; Western Branch; the first African American Library and the video recording of the same title (available in the University of Kentucky's Audio Visual Services' Media Library collection); and Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky, by R. F. Jones. See also A list of books selected from titles in the Western Colored Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library recommended for first purchase. Compiled by Thomas F. Blue and Rachel D. Harris [available online in the Kentucky Digital Library].


See photo images of the Western Branch Library, at the website "A Separate Flame."

Subjects: Librarians, Library Collections, Libraries, Colored Public Libraries in Kentucky
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

 

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