New Bookmobile, 1954

Bookmobile 3.tif
Bookmobile 4.tif


New Bookmobile, 1954


Tuscaloosa Public Library


Photograph and article on the new bookmobile which the Tuscaloosa Civitan Club helped get for the Tuscaloosa Public Library.


Tuscaloosa News


Tuscaloosa Public Library


Tuscaloosa News


April 4, 1954


Elizabeth Bradt (Description)






Tuscaloosa County (AL)


Photograph caption:
THE NEW - Members of the Tuscaloosa Civitan Club are shown above as they prepared to inspect the new Tuscaloosa County Bookmobile Friday.  The Civitans provided $1,320 to buy a chasis for the unit, the County Board of Education bought the body, and the books are supplied through the Tuscaloosa County Library.  The new bookmobile has just been completed and will begin its schedule next week.  Shown from left to right above are, George Van Tassel, Charlie Gross, Col. L. P. Hodnette, James Money, W. E. Hobson, Harvey Edwards, Jr., Civitan president, Dr. Kermit Johnson, county superintendent of education, and Miss Barbara Davis, county librarian.  In the back row are J. M. Mercalf and Harvey Edwards, Sr.  The Civitan emblem can be seen on the bookmobile door betwee Mr. Edwards and Dr. Johnson.  (Photos by Bruce Jetton)

Text of article:
Civitans Mark Dream's End in New Bookmobile

The Tuscaloosa Civitan Club had the opportunity Friday to see some tangible results of its work.  Members saw and inspected two bookmobile units which they helped Tuscaloosa County get.

When the Civitans gathered at the McLester Hotel for their regular weekly meeting Friday, they saw two bookmobile units parked in front of the building.  One was the old truck which they helped to start in 1948 with the County board of education and the Tuscaloosa County Library.  The other was a bigger, new truck for which they bought the chassis this year.

The county board of education bought the body for the new bookmobile and the books are supplied through the Tuscaloosa County Library.  It will make the rounds of all white county schools and provide books for thousands of students and adults each year.

Miss Barbara Davis, county librarian, told the Civitans that 77,900 books were distributed from the bookmobile in 1948, the first year it was started.  During 1953 there were 197,366 books distributed from the bookmobile.

Miss Davis and Dr. Kermit Johnson, county superintendent of education told the club the bookmobile has very definitely raised the reading standard of hundreds of county youths and adults.

The old bookmobile is not being retired, but has been put to use by the County Board of Education to serve the Negro population of the county.  The Board of Education bought books for the Negro bookmobile and one of the buildings at Lock 11 will be used as a library center for it.

Mrs. Carolyn Watts, supervisor of instruction for Negro schools, said that only about 1,000 books are available now.  The truck will hold over 2,000 books and they hope to add to the supply, she said.

Before the bookmobile was turned over to the Negroes, Mrs. Watts carried books to the rural schools and communities in the trunk of her car.  She could only carry a limited number and the children had to share the books among themselves.  Now a child can check out a book and keep it himself until the bookmobile returns.

The new bookmobile is painted a dark blue and both have the Civitan emblem painted on the doors.  Both will also begin their new schedule next week.

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