Oakland: Home Library
CAPTION: Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Home Library.
NOTES: Unidentified Pittsburgh neighborhood.
Home Libraries: There were so few libraries to which
children could go, that the Library went to them with Home Libraries.
They were established in underprivileged neighborhoods in which
a mother was willing to house a small bookcase in her own
home and have children meet there each week. A "library visitor,"
usually a volunteer, met with the group, discussed books, read aloud,
told stories, and exchanged the children's books. The first home library
was opened in July, 1898; at the close of 1905 there were thirty-one.
Reading clubs were established in neighborhoods in which a suitable
location for a home library could not be secured. They met in schools
and followed much the same program as the home library. They usually
met in the evening, however, because many of the older boys of that
time had day-time employment. There were 37 such clubs in 1905.
In the enlarged Central Library, opened in 1907, an entire wing
containing a series of large connecting rooms gave the Children's
Department ample space for its activities.
The kindergarten Training School of Pittsburgh was the first source
of Children's librarians; five of its graduates were appointed in
1899. They were adept in dealing with children, but they had no
acquaintance with library techniques, and more important, their
knowledge of Children's literature was scanty.
The Training Class for Children's Librarians was established
October 1, 1900, with five students. It offered a two-year course
comprising lectures by Carnegie Library Staff members and a great
deal of practice work in the Children's rooms. The word "School"
was substituted for "class" in 1901. Requests soon came from other
public libraries for the admission of their staff members. To
satisfy this demand a special one-year course was established in
1906, open only to those who had completed one year of general
library instruction in a recognized library school.
From Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: History 1895-1969
by Ralph Munn, Director 1928-1964.
From the Collections of the Pennsylvania Department,
The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.