« AnteriorContinuar »
the cooperation of the library workers. In addition the American Library Association and the League of Library Commissions have published several pamphlets for the benefit of the untrained custodians of the traveling library stations.
The books sent out to each station may be borrowed without charge, usually for periods of two weeks, a fine being charged when they are kept overtime. At the end of a stated period, perhaps every three months, the case of books is sent back to headquarters, or to another station, and is replaced by a new selection of books. In this way people in each locality are able to enjoy a constantly changing variety of good recent books on every subject, as well as fiction. Local readers may request special books from the headquarters, through the station. In general, the regular shipments are made up from a rotating series of lists, so that in time every book from the headquarters will reach every station.
The county library system.—This is the latest and by far the most successful type of rural library work. It originated in Ohio, and one of the best known activities of Van Wert County, Ohio, is the Brumbach Library. This library, whose building was given by Mr. Brumbach several years ago, is supported by county taxation, and is the center for a library service which reaches all parts of the county. Fifteen country storekeepers are its "branch librarians," and 101 rural-school teachers are the custodians of its schoolroom stations. In 1913 there were 115,550 registered borrowers, besides 2,435 school borrowers. Over 90,000 books were loaned in one year.
In Oregon the county library system has also been most successful. In Multnomah County the Portland Public Library acts as the central headquarters, and carries on a system of traveling libraries to a chain of country stores and schoolhouses. Several of the other counties have organized the service.
It is in California, however, that the county system has been carried out on such a large, carefully planned and satisfactory scale as to excite the interest of the whole country. The entire State will soon be covered by the system, each county catching the enthusiasm from its neighbor. The county is the unit, and each county organizes on its own desire, taxes itself, appoints its own librarian, buys the books it wishes, and carries on its work without let or hindrance. California started with a State system of traveling libraries several years ago, but distances are great, and the difficulties of operating one service in a State which is 700 miles long proved the need of a plan which would bring the organization nearer to the patrons. In the county system the county headquarters is within a day's ride of the stations in nearly all cases.
The chief point of excellence of the California system is that it operates under a State law so full and complete as to cover every
contingency that may arise, allows for a flexible cooperation and even consolidation between county and public libraries, as local needs may suggest, and, best of all, provides that when a county adopts the system it must automatically levy a tax upon itself, just as it does for public schools, sufficient to carry on the service in an adequate manner^ This tax may be as much as 1 mill on each dollar of assessed'^aluation of the county.
Out of the 58 counties in the State, 26 had been organized up to January 1, 1915. Since then six additional counties have undertaken the service, some of these the most mountainous and sparsely settled in the State. The State library has a county library organizer and a school library organizer who are sent out to new counties to help
Pig. 82.—Map illustrating the operation of the free library movement in Monterey
in interesting the public and then to help the county supervisors in establishing the service. They give information and assistance wherever it may be needed. Within the county work itself, however, the State library has no control except to see that proper reports are sent in from the counties.
It is only a matter of a A-ery few years until the whole State will be covered. In the 2G counties which had the service in 1914 the people taxed themselves $280,302 for the county library service. The population served was 1,557,008, and the area covered 95,950 square miles. There were 1,073 county branches or stations. This service is exclusive of the 132 independent public libraries in the cities and large towns of the State.
EDUCATIONAL PROPAGANDA THROUGH PRIVATE AGENCIES.
There is a marked tendency in recent years for private agencies to supplement the educational efforts of the National and State Governments. Typical of the definitely valuable work done in this way is the extension service of the International Harvester Co. The accompanying photograph is taken from a coiner of the International Harvester Co.'s great exhibit of farm machinery and farm helps in the Agricultural Building. It shows a few of the lecture charts, educational pamphlets, and photographs of the extension activities organized under the company's agricultural extension service.
To get a fair idea of the far-reaching influence of the International Harvester's work to improve agricultural production and distribution it is necessary to make a closer study of how the extension service is organized and promoted. There is nothing mercenary about it; the service was organized not to advertise the harvester company—although, of course, some incidental advertising can not be avoided—but to give the agricultural population of the country what is considered by the harvester company itself the people's due from a great organization whose prosperity depends on the prosperity of one-half of the Nation that tills the land.
The agricultural extension service has been organized by Prof. G. P. Holden, formerly of the Iowa Agricultural College faculty, who has free reins to develop it according to his own ideas of present agricultural needs. The activities of the department may be classed as better agriculture campaigns promoted by the field staff and a forward movement in agricultural education through lecture charts, educational publications, lantern slides, and material exhibits.
The most immediately effective propaganda is carried on with the help of a large corps of field workers under the immediate direction of Mr. Holden. This extension force cooperates with National and State Governments and State and local educational authorities for the promotion of better agriculture and all that goes with it. These campaigns have been remarkably effective, and have, in many States, done much to give a new impetus to agricultural life, both by making it more profitable and by helping people to realize that agriculture is a most honorable profession in an agricultural nation.
The lecture charts organized under Mr. Holden's direction are the result of long experience upon this educator's part in agricultural extension. They show some of the most valuable practical farm experiments and investigations carried on under varied conditions in the last quarter century with soils, crops, live stock, weeds, insects, home economics, and sanitation. The experiments contained in the charts are the work of thousands of investigators. Among the facts that they show are:
That grain farming, if kept up for a long period, robs the soil and Impoverishes the farmer.
That alfalfa and other legumes, with the proper rotation of crops, enrich the land and increase the yield from year to year.
That corn and alfalfa together are the best-balanced ration known for live stock.
That live-stock farming means prosperity to the farmer.
The lecture charts are sent out to county superintendents, county agents, farmers' organizations, rural and village teachers, and all others interested in rural life and agricultural promotion. Any teacher who is interested in obtaining the free use of the charts may either write direct to the International Harvester Co., Chicago, or work to this end through his county superintendent.
The list of charts of special interest to teachers include the following: Corn is King; Alfalfa on Every Farm; A Fertile Soil Means a Prosperous People; Live Stock on Every Farm; Dairying; Greater Profit from the Oat Crop; Making More from the Farm Poultry; Weeds Mean Waste; Home Economics and Sanitation; Trap the Fly; Great Forward Movement in Education; Diversified Farming for the South.
In addition to this variety of charts, teachers and others may have the use of a number of sets of lantern slides on educational subjects, prepared by the extension service, by paying a nominal price to cover express charges and wear and tear. Many educational publications are also issued of special interest to the rural schools. These, too, may be procured at a very nominal price. Literature of this kind especially suited for school use issued by the extension service are: Growing a Garden; Cold Pack Canning; Poultry is Profitable; Making Money from Pigs; A Pig for Every Boy; Harvesting Seed Corn; Testing Seed Corn; Weeds in Alfalfa; Lecture Notes and Alfalfa Charts; Story of Bread; Story of Twine; Creeds of Great Business Men: Binder Twine Industry; Harvest Scenes of the World.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH.
The fallacious idea is still largely held that for the open country nature is the only health officer needed; that where there is plenty of space and an abundance of pure air nature will more than counteract the results of man's ignorance of hygienic laws and sanitary regulations. This assumption, unfortunately, has been proved incorrect. In the past, before the establishment of sanitary science, the amount of sickness and death from disease was much larger in urban than in rural communities. More recently, this condition has been reversed. Modern sanitarians have gone so far as to prove that the cities would be less liable to contagious diseases than they are