How do you send a bookmobile around to places where there are no roads? In the 1930s, eastern Kentucky was full of tiny towns, coal camps, and isolated homesteads, but very few drivable roads to connect them. There were also few libraries, and they had few books. The Great Depression only made conditions worse. To fight illiteracy and help the small rural schools, the WPA launched a New Deal program called the Pack Horse Library Initiative, to deliver books to the most inaccessible Appalachian hollows by librarians or other “book women” riding horses or mules. These librarians and other volunteers had to supply their own horse, but they were paid a dollar a day, which was more than most people in the area were making at the time. They went above and beyond the call of duty, not only delivering books, but reading aloud and teaching classes. Local libraries and volunteers provided the books, and even made some books to share with people who otherwise wouldn’t have any exposure to literature of any kind. -via Nag on the Lake
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