Academic journal article Language Arts

Library on Wheels: Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile

Academic journal article Language Arts

Library on Wheels: Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile

Article excerpt

Library on Wheels: Mary Lemist Titcomb and America's First Bookmobile Written by Sharlee Glenn Abrams, 2018, 52 pp., ISBN 978-1-4197-2875-4

"People were not educated up to the idea of a public library. Libraries were for the idle and the rich" (p. 17). But at the turn of the 20th century, that sentiment would be permanently dispelled by Mary Lemist Titcomb. Mary rejected the conventional gendered career paths of nursing and teaching, instead channeling her love of reading into the emerging field of librarianship. Beginning as an unpaid apprentice in Concord, Massachusetts, she worked her way up the ranks to become head librarian of the Washington County Free Library in Maryland in 1901. Determined to establish the library as "an educational, recreational and democratizing influence in the community, bringing all classes of people to it" (p. 19), Mary opened one of the nation's first children's rooms, began a storytelling hour for children in remote areas, ensured the library's books and pictures rotated throughout the local schools, and created "deposit stations," or branch libraries, throughout the county. …

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