Books for black children: Public library collections in Louisville and Nashville, 1915-1925

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6 Scopus citations


In the early twentieth century, both Louisville, Kentucky, and Nashville, Tennessee, provided racially segregated public library collections and services. In each case, children became a central focus of the work. Librarians who developed the children's collections in library branches staffed and used exclusively by African Americans were limited by the need to educate as well as entertain, the dearth of books published for and about African-American children, and the professional practice of relying on standard selection guides. The children's collections in Louisville's and Nashville's black branch libraries held many of the same books available in other public libraries, and some of those books included demeaning characterizations and images of African Americans. Branch librarians mediated between the children and the collections, creating services, such as story hours and reading clubs, that supported interpretive communities of young African American readers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-200
Number of pages22
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences


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