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Traveling Libraries

One of the primary goals of the Library Commission was to encourage the growth and spread of public libraries in the state. To this end, the Traveling Library concept was implemented. Towns were encouraged to apply for the loan of a traveling library. The first Traveling Library was sent in December 1901 to the barber shop in Loup City. During its three-month stay 270 books were borrowed. A description of traveling libraries in Nebraska was included in the November 1904 Second Biennial Report of the Nebraska Public Library Commission. Edna D. Bullock, the Commission Secretary, wrote "We believe that there is no surer way to inspire people with a desire for good books at home, at school, and in the library than to give the people an opportunity to see and read the best books that the book trade affords. This, then, is the first task set for the traveling library-a task so magnificent in its possibilities that the accomplishment of but a small portion of it would justify the expenditure of all state funds so far devoted to the Commission, as well as affording ample satisfaction to those who have had the work in charge" .  Later, the establishment of "permanent" stations became a goal of the Commission.  In this way, patrons who used the traveling libraries could be assured of having books available on a regular basis.

Some materials relating to the program in the early years have been digitized.  Letters from Edna Bullock to community governments, schools, women's clubs and other groups  are linked by year.  Forms, booklists and other documents used in the program are linked as a group.   

Traveling Libraries 1901  

Traveling Libraries 1902

Traveling Libraries 1903

Traveling Libraries 1904

Traveling Libraries 1905

Traveling Libraries 1906

Traveling Library Forms and Booklists

Traveling Library Photos


Policies and Guidelines for Using Archival Materials

For more information, contact Mary Sauers.