Speaking of History:The Words of South Carolina Librarians

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Listen to Celeste Hatcher

Celeste Hatcher talks about her work at Savannah Public Library.

RW: And that was the only service for blacks in the entire city?

CH: And when I came here and took the job, the first thing I did when I got to Savannah was to visit the Savannah Public Library, and I mentioned to the librarian at that time if we could have a sort of association, since I knew that it was segregated. And she said, "Well, I don't know about that..." she said, "because that question has never come up, but I will talk with some of my board members, and see what they think about it." So, sometime later, she came back to me. She was a very nice person. She was for it 100%, but you know, with the city, you [can't] bite the hand that feeds you. She knew what the attitude was here, between races. And she had her own personal feeling. I guess she figured that anybody would... should be welcome to a library, regardless of what it was, black, blue, green or pink. So she said, "I'll think about it." And she came back and said that she had talked to her board, and that it was a brand new idea, and they would think about it. So they thought about it, and still nothing appeared. But she did say that if I had a request from anybody, and I didn't have the material to meet that request, that they could come over there. But you just didn't walk in and out, like you can now.

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