Tuesday, November 12th
In 1925, Essae Martha Culver, a California librarian, arrived in Louisiana to direct a three-year project funded by the Carnegie Corporation that aimed to introduce public libraries to rural populations. Culver purchased a round-trip ticket, but she never used the second half. Instead, she stayed in Louisiana the rest of her life, working tirelessly to see libraries established in every parish by 1969.
In Spreading the Gospel of Books, Florence M. Jumonville chronicles the impressive, colorful history of Louisiana parish libraries and the State Library of Louisiana. She draws upon Culver’s journals and library reports, in addition to correspondence, scrapbooks, and State Library internal documents, and includes photos from five decades, many never before published. The campaign to persuade individual parishes to financially support a library of their own was a long, uphill pull through poverty and politics, flood and famine, discouragement and depression, war and bureaucracy, ignorance and prejudice. Culver credited success to the citizens, whose thirst for books and embrace of the idea of a library inspired perseverance.
This book is available in hardcover ($50.00).
Florence M. Jumonville discusses and signs her book, Spreading the Gospel of Books: Essae Culver and the Genesis of Louisiana Parish Libraries.
If you are unable to attend, you must call the book shop to order signed books.