« AnteriorContinuar »
grounds and space for school gardens. The map shows, further, that under this system 409 standard school buildings of reinforced concrete have been completed and 290 other permanent buildings are under construction: 798 semipermanent buildings have been completed, while 1,348 temporary buildings have been built, to be supplanted as soon as possible by permanent concrete structures. In addition to this, 1,390 rented buildings are occupied, making a total of 4,235 buildings. The standard buildings completed and under construction have cost $1,933,544. The following chart is also suggestive of activities in modern school construction in the islands:
The permanent schoolhouses of concrete construction are built on a unit plan which allows of expansion from small beginnings as soon as school population shall increase. It is customary to begin with a one-room unit in communities where school attendance is small. This is illustrated in the following view of the barrio or rural school building from Salinas, Cavite:
IV. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE AGENCIES.
RECENT DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL LIBRARIES.
The exhibit of the American Library Association devoted an entire section of its space to the activities and accomplishments of rural libraries. It showed in a graphic way that library development in villages and small towns has made great progress during the past decade, partly, no doubt, as one phase of the great general
Fig. 78.—The American Library Association exhibit.
awakening in country life. But it is also true that the library itself has been a great factor in bringing about some of the most far-reaching improvements in the physical and social conditions in thousands of small communities.
For the old idea of a library as merely a collection of fiction,
juveniles, and "classics'' is passing away. The modern library, in
city or country, is placing at the disposal of women's clubs, granges.
and active leaders and workers, books and magazines which spread new ideas and give the impetus to many changes. On its shelves may now be found the latest literature on alfalfa and septic tanks, county taxation and road construction, better school buildings and consolidation, house furnishing and jelly making, and how to put up the school lunch. Xor does it neglect those persons who in every community love the more cultural side of reading. The library is now relied on to supply programs for club meetings and entertainments, or pictures of costumes for a play or pageant, as well as to provide people the means of self-education.
Progress in rural library work was considered in the exhibits under three heads:
1. The small individual public library in the village.
2. Library commissions and State aid to small libraries and
3. The county library system, especially as found in California.
It seems to be the ambition of every community to have a library building of its own. Many improvements have been made in the design and especially in the interior planning of small library buildings, so as to make an attractive home for the books, and more especially to provide for the convenient handling of the work by the person in charge, to give the best service to the patrons. Singleroom buildings are much in favor. The children, adult readers, and the books themselves make it necessary to divide the work into three divisions, which must be separated to some extent. This is being accomplished by low bookcase partitions, instead of by cutting the space into small stuffy rooms. Many of the buildings are adapted to social centers, having lecture halls and similar rooms. In a few instances the library is provided with adequate room in a large central community building. This gives an excellent oportunity for the library to connect its books more directly with the various neighborhood interests, and its own space can be given to purely library uses.
The number of library buildings which have been erected by gifts from Mr. Andrew Carnegie has grown steadily.' The only requirement which the donor makes is that the community guarantee to give each year, for maintenance, 15 per cent of the cost of the gift. This has been increased from 10 per cent at the request of library workers in all parts of the country, for there is a great temptation for a community to erect a building for the mere pride of having it, without realizing that the hooks and the services of a trained librarian are more important than the building itself.
The system of individual local libraries and library buildings is nowhere so strikingly illustrated as in the State of Massachusetts. The State contains 35 cities and 319 towns (townships). Every town except one has a free public library, though a few of them are in buildings not owned by the town. The population of the State in 1910 was 3,360,410. The total stock of books in all the libraries was 0,291,811 and the circulation of books was 12,440,819. In other words three books were borrowed by every man, woman, and child in the State, on an average.
State aid and library commissions.—Out of the desire to carry on organized help for library work grew the library commissions, which now exist in 36 States. To a large extent their activities benefit the rural libraries especially. The commissions are organized under State laws and at State expense. In most cases the commission itself is composed of public spirited citizens who serve without pay. The
Fig. 79.—Corner In the exhibit of the American Library Association.
active work is in charge of a salaried expert, " secretary " or " agent." The commissions carry on campaigns for the establishment of new libraries and the improvement of methods of operation. In New York State, institutes of rural library workers are regularly held in different parts of the State. The commissions encourage better reading and the purchase of better books, by means of suggestive lists. In several States they attend to the distribution of a State fund among small libraries which come up to a standard of book buying and management.
As a further development there has grown up the system of "traveling libraries," which is in operation in many States. Iowa, Wisconsin, and New York have made special progress in this direction. In New York there is no commission, but the work is carried on by the division of educational extension of the New York State Library in the traveling library system which sends out from headquarters collections of from 25 to 200 or 300 books to small commu
nities. There they are placed in a store or in the schoolhouse, or perhaps in the village hall or clubroom. The headquarters office appoints some one in the community to be responsible for the books— very often the local teacher—and to see that they are properly loaned and returned, and that the records are properly kept. These records have been much simplified during the last few years through