Just imagine, it is 4:30 in
the morning and a woman is riding an old horse up a cold, steep mountain
path; it is freezing and a light rain is falling. The woman's
saddlebag is filled with books to be delivered to poverty stricken people
who live along her route. Enthusiastically awaiting the tattered
books and magazines in her saddlebags are families and school children.
One woman walks nine miles to meet the book woman and exchange her books
and magazines. This is a day in the life of a pack-horse librarian.
The authors present captivating information which takes readers back to
the Depression era in Appalachia. This book is sure to leave readers
with an appreciation for the pack-horse librarians and a desire to discover
more about the Depression Era, as well as FDR’s programs that were established
to relieve the poverty and suffering during this time.
Prepared by: Mary Tyler for
Carolina Children's Book Award
During the 1930's, the country
was suffering an economic depression. Many people were out of work
and many lost their homes. President Roosevelt knew the government
had to help somehow. The Works Projects Administration was introduced
to help people find work. Most of the jobs created by the WPA were
meant for men. They built roads, cleared land, and other physical
projects. There was a need to create jobs for women as well and the
government set up public libraries to serve the population. In rural
areas, mobile libraries served the population. But in the backwoods
of Kentucky, the hugh bookmobiles were useless. The enterprising
women of the hills devised another way to deliver books. They became
the packhorse librarians and this is their story.