RVW: We are interviewing Miss Margaret Mosimann and Miss Madeline Mosimann in Charleston, SC on February 2, 1987 at their apartment at the Ashley House. Let's begin with Madeline. You were born in 1914 in Charleston, tell us a little bit about your family background.
MM: Well, we come from a wonderful family background. My father was a school teacher and later the principal of Boys High School. He was an English scholar and a mathematician. Mother was a musician and came from a line that were organists for over sixty years in the Catholic Churches in the city, and she was considered one of the premier choir directors, so she directed city-wide choruses for the festivals, things like that. So we grew up with literature and music, both of us.
RVW: And your family has been in Charleston a long time, then, I gather.
MM: Yes. Some came in 1791, some came in 1815, some came in 1848. Daddy's family came in 1815, so we've been here for awhile.
RVW: You wanted to add, Margaret?
MDM: I was just saying Mother's family came over from [?, not clear] and some came from France. She had a completely French background at the time she married my father. Intermarriages with French Catholics, no other nationality here; she had a completely French background.
RVW: And your father, was it your father that operated the store here in town? No, you said he was your grandfather.
MDM: No, Mother's grandfather and Mother's grand uncle.
RVW: This was four or five generations, then, of things you were going through in the house and a ...
MM: Yes, it was. The house wasn't that old, but things had been transferred there from some other ... they never threw away anything.
RVW: You were both educated at the College of Charleston. Madeline graduated in 1936 with an A.B. in English and Margaret graduated in '38 with AB in English and Latin.
MM: I had to give up Latin in my senior year because I missed the first three months of college because of illness and I couldn't keep up the extra Latin parallel that you needed to get your Latin degree which upset me thoroughly.
MDM: She was a better Latin student than me.
RVW: Well, did either one of you work in the library at the College of Charleston?
MDM: Both of us.
RVW: Oh! You did.
MDM: I tell you, I started library work when I was a sophomore in high school, at the old Memminger High School, in the days before there was such thing as student assistants, they were not the general rule. I wanted to, and decided what I wanted to do and I was just talking to the librarian one day and she said "Come on up in your free period." That's really when I got my start, as a sophomore in high school. Then I worked all through college, I worked and substituted some at the library.
RVW: What about you, Madeline?
MM: I was a little different because I wanted to be a musician, but I loved books from the time I was a child. Of course, we all loved books. I remember the first book that was given to me as a present when I learned to read was The Age of Fables by Bullfinch. [telephone interrupted conversation]
RVW: Well, Madeline, you started work as a teacher right after college then, didn't you?
MM: Yes, it was a matter of economic necessity. In those days library schools weren't that prevalent, the big school was Peabody.[Telephone interrupted]
RVW: You taught what areas, then, in high school?
MM: I taught the fourth grade.
RVW: Oh! I thought you taught in high school.
RVW: Oh! St. Andrew's School.
MM: St. Andrew's School became a high school in 1940. They used what they could of anyone who wanted to go up from the elementary, so I was delegated to go up as the librarian provided I got my training. That suMM:er of 1940 I went to Emory and then came back, but things were, well, you know 1940, money was not there and to be accredited they had to have somebody on the high school staff who was qualified. So, Bernard Henderson, who was teaching history at the time, was listed as the librarian, but unofficially I was the librarian. He had taken a couple of courses in undergraduate school at Carolina so that he had some credits to go on record. Later on, when things weren't working out, I started teaching fourth grade. I went to the county library, then, as the assistant, but I had already had a summer of library school. Opportunity came, they finally got new funds, the school had grown a lot. That area really mushroomed during World War II. You would drive home from school one day and you wouldn't see a house in a certain area, and then it would have fifty or sixty prefabricated houses the next morning. The school really boomed, and the feeder elementary schools were doubly bad. So, at the end of 1940, they decide they needed a full time librarian. I went back and finished Emory. I went the summer of '45 and spring of '46, finished in the '46 so I think I'm listed '47. I thought it was very, very interesting. I don't know if it holds true now or not, but I found library school was so much easier when I went back after I'd had so much practical experience.
RVHC: Well, it meant something.
MM: It meant something and so I always tell kids if you work a little bit before you go, it's going to mean more to you.
RVW: How did you choose Emory?
MM: Emory was the one, which at the last minute I could get in, to put it boldly. I had to go to school some place close to home; I didn't want to go too far afield. Chapel Hill was filled up for the summer, and Emory said I could come on so I went. A lot of things in life are economic necessity.
RVW: You went there over several summers, then.
MM: Yes, the summer of '40, and then financially wasn't able to go back until the summers of '45 and '46. Finished in '46, and the library school had, I think, grown, too.
RVW: Well, Margaret, we had sort of lost track of you. Once you had finished the College of Charleston, what were you doing those intervening years?
MDM: Well, I went to the county library and stayed all forty three years of my life with that institution.
RVW: You went from college directly?
MDM: I had wanted to go into music. I loved books and music. It was sort of a toss-up. At the College of Charleston---my father died when I was a senior in high school---did not have a music department. So I went to the College of Charleston and got a job in the college library. I had always loved books and loved libraries anyway, so what was I going to do? I was going to be a librarian. When I got out there wasn't any money to go off to finish my training in either one, so I went and volunteered that summer in the children's room of the county library. At that time we called it the Free Library.
RVW: This is the summer of '38?
MDM: The summer of '38, and I spent the whole summer working in the children's room. Enjoyed it, in fact, I wanted to be a children's librarian, believe it or not, at that time. Then, a job came up in the office of the library, and I was called in and asked if I would like to have it. If I could stand to take a course in bookkeeping, which I did. I had already studied typing at night. Part of it was working at the circulation desk - the library had a very small staff - checking in the book orders and taking the book orders. That was fun. So, that's what I did. I took the job in the office in the library and kept it there. Emily Sanders came on as librarian in 1940, and that was an association that was very inspiring and very rewarding through all the years. In 1941, Martha Koopman came to take over the extension department; she'd had experience in libraries all over the country and in Hawaii. She was a marvelous person. Her sister continued that, too, she worked for one year and also took over later on in years. She had this idea: you get the book to the person who wants it in as easy and quick a way as possible. She really built up that extension department. I worked for her for a year. She and Emily Sanders pushed me into library school. I mean literally pushed. You asked me why I chose Chapel Hill? I chose Chapel Hill because I could afford it financially. Miss Sanders, who had known Miss Akers, got me a part time job there, and Martha Koopman drove me up. (Laughter) She gave me the transportation. So, I went to Chapel Hill and I enjoyed it.
RVW: So you had been working mostly in the office during those years.
MDM: Yes, but you see, with a small staff some of your work was done at the circulation desk, and I also did the book orders. I mean the physical part, not any selection, of course. I just liked it, I liked it a lot. I was interested. We were in the building on Rutlege, but I remember when we were in the museum we were children. I guess I just got attached to the library, so off I went to Chapel Hill.
RVW: How did you like Chapel Hill?
MDM: I enjoyed Chapel Hill. My first experience, without being personal, of living in a dormitory, because when I attended the College of Charleston I stayed at home. It was my first experience where that was your whole life, and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed going to concerts in the music department to satisfy that, I had friends in different departments. That year they had a big association with the Latin American countries, my roommate was from Puerto Rico. I was also very good friends with a girl from Mexico. I enjoyed that association, it meant a lot.
RVW: So you went full time at Chapel Hill? For a year?
MDM: Yes, yes. They pushed me into it and I worked in the periodicals department as a part-time typist in order to finance it.
RVW: So you had pretty much already had five years of experience then, from '38 to '43?
MDM: Yes, well I worked until the Fall of '42. And as I said the experience, although it was in the office, I did work the circulation desk and association with other librarians because there weren't that many [on the staff]. The reference librarian was a good friend.
RVW: Who was the faculty at Chapel Hill when you were there that you remember particularly?
MDM: Susan Grey Akers, a marvelous person. Lucille Kelley, Dr. Wilson. A Miss Meggs, who taught children's literature.
RVW: Wilson had come back to Chapel Hill by that time?
RVW: Did you take classes with him?
MDM: He just lectured a couple of times, he didn't really give us formal classes. But his daughter was in my class.
RVW: Oh! Is that right?
MDM: Isn't that something? (Laughter)
RVW: How about Susan Akers, was she a memorable person?
MDM: Every year of her life she slept out on her porch, no matter how cold it got.
RVW: Is that right? (Laughter)
MDM: She was a delightful person; very, very businesslike but very, very, very kind and interested.
RVW: Well, already at that time she had a reputation in cataloging.
MDM: She did, she did! Oh! She was a terrible catalog teacher; I mean terribly strict.
RVW: Terribly strict, huh?
MDM: Yes, you didn't' dare do anything that was wrong.
RVW: That's interesting.
MDM: I don't think I was her star pupil.
RVHC: Well, you didn't go into cataloging either.
MDM: No, I did catalog a lot though. I worked in every department of the library at one time or another.
RVW: And you were working in the university library in the serials department?
MDM: Yes, pegging (?) cards.
RVW: Interesting. Well, now Madeline you continued working in the high school library during those years, and going to Emory in the summers?
MM: In the meantime, I went to the county and worked with Martha Koopman, who was ...
MDM: That was the year I was away.
MM: And worked with her, and as she [MDM] said, she [Martha Koopman] was one of the most wonderful people to work for you could ever ask.
MDM: That was a wonderful job working for her.
MDM: You couldn't have asked for somebody to give you more as a young person starting out. OH! Excuse me, I have to correct something. I did work in extension for a year before I went to library school, I'm sorry.
RVW: That's all right.
MDM: I left the office and that's when I worked for Mrs. Koopman, before I went to library school. That was a marvelous experience.
MM: You have to realize, too, when we were working in extension, the bookmobile was a station wagon with specially constructed sides.
RVW: We've seen pictures of that.
MM: And, you fought to lift up that glass. The picture books were in a little bin on the side, so we opened the door like a trap door then the books would slide right down on the ground. It was one of the most beloved things going.
MDM: You had to pull out a card table and put it on the road, so you had to jump into the back, pull out the card table, put up the chairs.
MDM: Oh! It was something.
MM: Extra books were carried in brown cardboard boxes and you had to keep them in some sort of order so you could find things. I remember one incident---you wouldn't believe it now if you walked by Northwoods Mall on Ashley Phosphate Road---you wouldn't believe that Ashley Phosphate Road at one time was by a field. I moved my card table out at this particular stop, it was right next to horses. The horse would come and sniff down your neck. (Laughter) But it was wonderful, really.
MDM: You know, there was a romance about it. I've seen the library grow from that type library to all the automation, all of which is wonderful. But there was a romance about that which was wonderful. I remember we went with Mrs. Koopman down to the Cocos (sp?) Swamps, and those little children's parents couldn't even read. I remember one little boy, promptly sat down on the grass, and saying "I love my book." There was something about that that was gratifying, too, in those early days.
RVW: Was this the first rural service that had been offered through the bookmobile?
MM: We had to offer it.
MDM: No, they had to offer it because of the Rosenwald Fund. We had to offer it. They had a bookmobile before with the county library, we had a little dog that sat on it.
RVHC: I've seen pictures of that.
MDM: Louisa Guillard (spelling?) who was one of the first librarians at the old building, she took over and when she left Mrs. Koopman came in 1941. But they had had rural service, and they had to have four small branches, which you have seen in the library. Of course, they had to have a Black branch, too, which is a very interesting story.
RVW: Now you started to work while the Rosenwald money was still in effect, or was this afterwards?
MDM: She didn't, I did. I was there when the money was just getting started. See I was a child when we opened in the old museum, but I was there when it was sort of a traumatic experience because we had to take over. I was in the office, of course, support of the library and that took a little effort on the part of the library.
RVW: Who was responsible for getting the Rosenwald money?
MDM: Miss Sanders will tell you a lot of that because she's so interested. But it started with Mrs. McGowan, one of the city leaders who was very interested, Miss Laura Bragg, several people. Miss Sanders knows a lot about that and one of the reasons---one of the influences---of getting the Rosenwald Fund was the fact that they did have a Negro free branch, run by the Dart family; just a collection of books. The Rosenwald Fund operated on the fact that service had to be given to everybody. The Dart family had a building that they had taken up collections in the late 1800's as an industrial school with the Dart family having a principal interest. Mrs. [Susan Dart] Butler, who was one of the first Negro librarians, she had a collection of books there that she let people borrow, they were just her own.
RVW: In her home?
MDM: In this Dart branch, which was in the Industrial [School] Building. I think, somebody said the Rosenwalds were also interested in that [school], but it was actually there. The Dart Library, when we opened the building---and this is before my time---the Dart family rented that building, three rooms to the county for a dollar a year.
RVW: Where the branch was?
RVHC: Wasn't Susan Dart Butler one of the librarians?
MDM: Yes, that's Mrs. Susan Dart Butler. The Civic Clubs in the 1920's got very interested in starting the library. Of course, we were children, we loved the fact that they had a new library in the museum. It was a couple of little rooms, and so there were several people involved. Miss Sanders probably can tell you more.
RVW: You said this was an interesting story about the Dart Library in terms of how this got going?
MDM: Yes, how it got started, just from a reading room and the fact that they rented it to the county for just a dollar a year. This was when we opened.
RVW: Who made the connection between the county library and the Dart family? Did the library, or ...
MDM: I imagine Mrs. McGowan... Miss Sanders knows a lot because she knew Mrs. McGowan, and I think that she probably was the one, and Miss Sanders will be able to straighten you out on that.
RVW: Ok, we'll ask her about that.
MDM: Yes, ask her about that because Mrs. McGowan was a wonderful civic leader and was one of the ones; of course, Miss Mabel Parks, one of our early trustees, went around. They had a door to door canvas trying to get money, the Rosenwald Fund, the Carnegie fund, to get money for that first collection of books. I'm interested in it just because when I was director we had our fiftieth anniversary so I delved into all that, but Miss Sanders can tell you a lot of Mrs. McGowan's work because she really was marvelous. Still, others were too. There were board members. But its interesting because up until the 1920's we just had the Charleston Library Society, which was [is] a subscription library. [We] always had a very good relationship with them and with the Historical Society, but of course it wasn't for everybody. Then they had four little branches in the beginning, Mt. Pleasant, St. Paul's, McClellanville, and Edisto.
RVW: Now Madeline, you continued working with the school library during this time, and until you got your BLS? Is that right?
MM: After I got the BLS, I had met in my last semester on of the big instructors, and back that summer Nancy [Jane Day] had accepted the Rockefeller [grant] to come as supervisor. We had school libraries, but there was no coordination, there was no standard, there was nothing - just school libraries. Most of the school libraries in South Carolina were just little libraries that interested people had started and said that we should have librarians. They were really kind of puny. A lot of them weren't [supported by] a very large appropriation at all to buy books, so the libraries were started from gifts from people, their old homes, and that sort of thing. But with the grant, and Nancy came, naturally I had been her student and so I worked with her closely during her first couple of years. In fact, after I had come back and stayed at St. Andrew's High School a year, which I should have done, because they gave me two months leave of absence [without pay] in the Spring to go finish. I went with her to a Southern States work conference, and did that for a couple of summers and worked with her, then she appointed me to work on the book collection first list of approved library books for South Carolina schools. And that summer, when I was working, she heard that Winthrop Training School really needed a librarian very badly. Dr. Frick came down to Columbia and asked me would I consider it. There were a lot of reasons for me not to; it wasn't easy for me to pulled like that. But, I went to Rock Hill, it was a training school, for eighteen months. What I did, I had (knock on door obliterated sound) all summer I had helped her with workshops for school librarians. (Tape indecipherable, red mark on #21) While I was up at the training school, Memminger Library became vacant. Now Memminger was the large, originally girls school, that I had graduated from; it was then coed. But the librarian, Virginia Rugheimer, was going to be librarian of the Charleston Library Society, and they said, "would you be interested in coming home?" It was a good offer, and that time we still had younger brothers and sisters needing education, I decided it [the training school] was good a experiment, and I enjoyed it, and enjoyed the teaching, and that sort of thing, but it just seemed to be, financially, a better opportunity [to come home], and other considerations, too. It was the school I had always wanted, so I came back. At the end of the year the powers that be decided to close the school. Then, Mr. Rogers, who was superintendent and also principal of Memminger, came and said, "Now, look I'm going to tell you people you are going to hear all these rumors, they're probably going to be true, but you're not going to find by the first of June that you don't have a job, you're safe." So I went away for a week and came back to hear that the news had broken and the school was to be closed. I called Mr. Rogers and he said "Can you be here in twenty minutes?" I said, "Yes, I'll be right there." I walked in his office, I'll never forget; he said, "What's the matter, Madeline, are you worried, you think you don't have a job?" I said, "I'm not worried, I'm curious. I just want to tell you I'm not going back into the teaching classroom. I got my library degree at great expense, so I can get another job as a school librarian right now, in July, which I might not be able to do when school starts in September." His answer was, "I wouldn't ask you that, but Memminger is going to need to be dismantled, and Murray School, which was the vocational school, is going on the South Carolina accredited list of high schools. Therefore, we have to add four academics to the vocational school, and we have to have a library. Will you help dismantle Memminger and start the library at Murray? If you do that for me for one year, I'll try to do what you want, which was to be supervisor of the elementary school libraries."
MDM: That's what she wanted to do.
MM: The funny thing about it. I'd done everything. I'd broken up the school library, started one, but that was an interesting year, too. That library was old and had all kinds of wonderful things in it. There again it had been started by these old books that were given, and all this had to be gone through. So it took us almost a year to really sort that library. I got down to Murray school at the end of the year, but they didn't make me supervisor. Then, you were neither fish nor fowl, and my temperament is not to have two responsibilities. You get to Murray and you'd work in there and you'd think, no, I should be up at this elementary school, and you go out to the elementary school and try to get things started there, and get behind in the other things that you needed to do. Mrs. Koopman was retiring, and I had thoroughly enjoyed the extension work, besides I was getting a little tired of trying to find employment in the summer, because we did not have that twelve month deal then. So I went to the county library. I stayed in extension until 1957, and then Janey Smith, who was the best beloved children's librarian around, had announced to the powers that be, that she was going to retire. I was the only trained children's person on the staff, so temporarily for six months, and at that time, the Library Services Act had appropriated money to build up children's collections. That was the time of the title page year.
RVHC: The what?
MM: The title page year. You never heard the story of the title pages.
RVHC: Oh! Where you would tear out the title pages and save the book?
MM: Right! Yes. A Lot of people thought that it was really ridiculous and foolish thing and busy work, but there was a real reason behind that. If you had seen some of these libraries and the book collections that they were counting and saying that they were accredited, and you'd go down, go through the collection and discard. You'd go back in six months time and those books were back on the shelf. Jack [Estellene P.] Walker thought that this might be something [people would do] and not just do anything. So to be sure, if they were back on the shelves it wasn't a replacement.
MDM: There's a little side story to that.
RVW: I thought that was in regard to the public libraries, you are saying this also took place in the schools?
MM: No, I was back in the children's room [of the Charleston County Library]. I was in the children's room.
MDM: She took over the children's room in 1964.
MM: That was the year that the St. Matthew's church across from the library caught on fire.
MDM: And I was in charge [of the childrenís room at the library].
MDM: Emily [Sanders] was sick. I"ll never forget that night.
MM: They called her.
MDM: They called me. You weren't in and they called me. And Tommy Blevins was on the desk and said, "It's just a little tiny fire across the street, but I thought I ought to let you know." I said, "Well, Tommy, I think I'd better get up there." So, I got up there. By the time I got up there things were blazing. I got in the building and we made everybody leave the building. I remember one medical student came to me and said, "Please, Mam, can't I stay in that building, all my books for tomorrow for an exam, right on that table. Can I run in there and get them?" I said, I'll shut my eyes." They were afraid the steeple of St. Matthew's was going to fall on the building, so they made everybody get out. Emily Sanders was at home sick, so I was in charge. But then there Emily Sanders sat, with fever and everything. That was something else because we stood around there, and she [Madeline] was at a meeting and didn't realize that nobody was supposed to go in the building. So, when she came, she ran in and got those title pages and nobody stopped her. I didn't see her do it.
MM: They said, "What in the world are you doing back in there?" I replied, "I'm getting my title pages!" (laughter)
MDM: But she didn't know she wasn't supposed to not go in.
MM: We had discarded at least a 1000 books, and to go back and get a 1000 more title pages would have been horrendous.
MDM: But she didn't realize.
MM: No, I don't mind telling it.
MDM: All of the policemen getting people out, but she was in another part of the building, in the back. But we stood in the square and watched for that thing fall down, and it just fell down like this, straight down. We thought sure the library was going to catch on on fire.
RVHC: Well, I heard that you really had to tear those title pages out.
MM: You did, you did. It was proof, and you had to have proof.
MDM: Now, I guess I should say it wasn't general, but if you had the rare book that you thought was a valuable book and you were a trained librarian, you could photostat that title page and use it, as long as you assured that it was going to a special shelf for special use.
MM: That was a special arrangement.
MDM: That was Jack Walker's - who was a wonderful librarian - idea for improving the collection. You knew her?
RVW: We want to talk about her.
MM: You knew her?
RVW: I didn't know her but just like ...
MDM: Oh! I was associated with and she was a very close friend.
RVW: So you'all thought the title pages idea was a good one.
MM: I thought it was practical.
MDM: It was a necessity of the time. A lot of people didn't, but I could see the reasons behind it.
MM: Practical! When you see the reason for something ... On the surface it was ... I had been through enough and had that same experience with school libraries when I was there. Going in and saying this is absolutely sub-standard and you don't want it in your school library, it's old, it's out of date, and that sort of thing. And then you go back and there it would be again. You had to prove that you had discarded an old book to get the new.
RVHC: I heard that they used to photostat the title pages and put them back in the book and put the book back on the shelf.
MDM: I don't think they got by with that.
RVHC: They didn't get by with it?
MM: Maybe they didn't. Maybe a few did, but I don't think. I don't think they'd accept a photostat unless it was something special.
RVHC: No, I mean they photostat the title page and put that on the book, and then the original title page was sent in.
MM: Now, I didn't hear about that but then it could have happened. Because some of those people were adamant. In those days we had a lot of untrained people, who had the dignity of the department head name, but who had nothing except experience; to them a book was simply a count, any book regardless of what it was, and you were really criminal if you destroyed a book. That was one of the hardest things we had to get over, and this was rampant in the early days. We would, I mean libraries in South Carolina for a long time were without trained personnel at all, maybe one or two. You'd have this field worker from the state, and she was practically the librarian for some of the little libraries, and all that. She had to depend on [untrained help], and school libraries for a long time had no standards. This is one of the big things we were working for all the time, for some sort of standards and some sort of accreditation. I know under Nancy we all worked perfectly hard on getting elementary schools approved. We felt that no high school would be any good unless your feeder schools were accredited. It took a long time, and not just in South Carolina, it took a lot to get the Southeast to realize that their links weren't strong - their high schools weren't strong.
RVW: Let's talk about relationships with the State Library over this period of time. You both started, even in the late 30's working in the county library system, and so you knew the State Library before it really was the State Library, and on up through its development.
MDM: Yes, it really came alive, I think, when Jack Walker came, back after the war. Of course, she really was a marvelous person and after she had been here for years, every county had a library, and she built that. The State Library was not that effective in the early years. South Carolina, shall we say, was a backward field in library work. When you think that Charleston didn't even have a public library until 1931.
RVW: Why do you think this happened? It's been something curious. The county delegation seemed to have--- in the scrapbook and the history you wrote---the county delegation, again and again was so negative.
MDM: They were negative. The Charleston Library Society, well you know Charleston, a lot of old families, and the Charleston Library was a wonderful library, still is. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have memberships as children, we read every book in their children's collection when we were children, but I think that some of the prominent citizens probably felt that was adequate.
RVW: That was enough?
MM: That was even stated in the newspaper.
MDM: I had a newspaper man tell me that, he felt the Library Society was enough. That was when we were trying to get something else. That was after I'd been there, and he was a friend, but he said "I think the Library Society was adequate." He actually told me that.
RVW: Any idea what proportion of the population belonged to the Library Society back in that time? Or even what it cost to join?
MDM: It was obviously a very small percentages. That would be something that could be looked up, but....
RVW: But very small.
MM: and MDM: Yes.
MDM: Mainly city people, maybe people who had plantations, they'd have come in, but for the most part it was the city of Charleston. Now there were some little libraries, McClellanville had a little library of its own, then, that was absorbed by the county. The little places like that, were just little lending libraries people had in their homes and things.
RVW: But the existence of the Library Society was a retardant, then, essentially to the development [of the public library].
MDM: Well, I suppose, although it's a wonderful institution, we've always had a wonderful relationship with it, but of course, it was in a way because influential citizens belonged. I've never called it a retardant and I'd hate to be quoted on that. I suppose in the 1920's the city people began working on the business of getting a free library, too. All these people such as Mrs. McGowan, and all.
RVW: But they had to fight the political structure, essentially.
MDM: They did, because it had to go through the legislature. In order to get the Rosenwald Fund, the legislature had to come up with [matching] money] which, as you know from the history, gradually diminished,, but it took a lot to get...
MM: There was a certain philosophy too, that public money shouldn't be spent for education. Not completely, but there was that feeling over all, not just libraries. There were so many people, even in education, who felt that libraries were a fringe benefit of education. But there were so many citizens interested, who took petitions from door to door.
RVW: This is for the bond issue in the fifties?
MM: To get the Rosenwald Fund. To get the thing started.
RVW: Oh. To get the Rosenwald Fund.
MM: Yes, door to door, some of the Civic Club members. Dr. Ray (spelling?) McBee was president of the Civic Club at the time, had a meeting at Ashley Hall. She was the principal of Ashley Hall and was one of the prime movers. Miss Mabel Parks, who was on our board, just interested citizens, and they really worked.
RVW: Fighting the newspapers all the time, and the county delegation?
MM: Well, there was not that much publicity.
MDM: No, there wasn't that much publicity. Now we were both children, I'm just going back into the history, but there wasn't that much publicity. Didn't get that much publicity I don't think.
MM: No, it was just sort of ... Everything in Charleston was backward, actually. 'Course we were terribly poor at the end of the war [Between the States] and there wasn't enough money anywhere. It took Charleston a long time to get back economically.
MDM: I hope I'm right about all that, but anyway. I think it was just a matter of selling it to the legislature, not to the people at large. At that time it wasn't like the later bond issues we sold to the voters.
MM: If you don't have something you don't realize what you are missing. I think it was an apathy.
MDM: Then everything was done, of course we didn't have the self-government with the county.
RVW: That's right.
MDM: It was all the legislature and everything was done up there with the supply bill. They were afraid, which was true, that if they went in for this agreement they'd eventually have to take it over, which of course they would have. J. C. Long was the senator at that time, Sam Rittenburg, several people who were very influential.
RVW: How helpful was the State Library in this?
MDM: Nothing. The State Library, even if it had existed, there wasn't any driving force in that at all.
RVW: But what about then, in the fifties, when the bond issue was fought? They were very helpful then?
MDM: Yes, they were very helpful. By that time they were established as a permanent organization.
MM: From what I've learned ... I knew some of the people who were the early librarians refer to [?not clear], who was an excellent librarian, and left to marry and have her children, come back later in reference, was a good friend and a very fine librarian; she was one of the first staff members there. Louisa Guillard (spelling?) was another one who was one of the first librarians there. I knew through talking to them some of the early experiences. We loved it, we were children, we loved the fact there was place to get books---you couldn't have too many library books. We used all our school libraries and the Library Society and anything we could get hold of, including, as my sister reminded me, sending out fifty cents for serial books, that they sent to girls at home.
MDM: That's right, believe you me, if you had the bulk of the money, you got first choice. If it was your birthday and you got books for your birthday then you read it first. Then you passed it on along.
RVHC: Did you all read the Little Colonel Series?
MM: Of course! Naturally! (laughter) We couldn't discard them.
RVHC: I have never been able to either.
MDM: From the old house. And do you know where they are? Up in Alexandria, Virginia at my sister's, with her daughters, because she said she'd take them. My sister has a house full of books that is going to fall down because the books are going to weigh it down. She's also a librarian. But her daughters loved all these books, we brainwashed them even though they are modern kids.
MM: We call them the baggy books because they are in bad condition so they are stored in plastic bags. We loved the Little Colonel.
MDM: Did you read the Tucker Twins?
RVHC: Oh, yes and a....
MDM: Those were a cut above; the characterizations were a cut above. One of the books was a trip to Charleston so we thought that was a marvelous book. It talked about a ghost story in this house, which incidentally was a house that my great aunt lived in, and thought the ghost was alive. (laughter)
RVW: Let's talk about the bond issue in the fifties. You all fought really tough opposition there against the newspapers?
MDM: Not in the beginning. I'll tell you what happened. David McCarthy wrote a series of articles. I'll tell you one thing that I did, if I may put in a personal note. Fritz Hollings came to the library one day and he wanted an old magazine. I said to him, "I can get it for you, but I think if you helped me it would be better." So, I took him way to the back of the library, up the back stairs in this old room where everything was thrown about and he helped me get it. He said, "My goodness, you'all need a new library!" I'd taken him up there on purpose, asking him to help me, told him I couldn't lift it down. Anyway, David McCarthy wrote a series of articles showing the state of the library, which was terrible. Tape 1 Side 2
MDM: But it got to the point of the selection of the site, and all that. Emily can tell you a lot about that, because of course, she was the director at the time. I was helping her. But, then, they turned on us at the very end, too late.
RVW: Who came up with the idea to do the postcards and those kinds of things?
MDM: Oh, the Board and Emily and all. And the League of Women Voters were very helpful.
RVW: I was very impressed that you could overcome the newspapers opposition.
MDM: That was at the end. She really - I cannot express to you my admiration for her as my boss and as the librarian. When she came there it was nothing but four little branches, and she built branches. I mean she got them built. She is not going to tell you this, she's too modest. She really was completely - I hate the word dedicated---but it's the word that sometimes you need to use. We got that bond issue. I remember the night it passed. We got people to phone the newspaper and ask, "Would you mind telling me the result of the bond issue?" We drove them crazy. (laughter)
MM: Martha Koopman, with her bookmobile and her extension service, she would go around the town and talk about it. She was really a person who had service as her goal, everything she did ...
MDM: That one year I worked for her before I went to Library School was one of the best years of my life as far as ... it introduced me ... see I'd been in the office, and I realized then that I was sold on public library work after that. I never worked anywhere else.
RVW: What was her name?
MDM: Martha Koopman. She came here... her husband came as librarian at The Citadel. She worked all over the country and in Hawaii.
RVW: Did she retire here or ...
MDM: Yes. She retired here, went abroad, went to live in the Virgin Islands, we went down to visit her, a marvelous trip.
MM: They put up every year, the two of them, every month they put up the money for their current trip, and another fund, their retirement trip. They loved traveling, so the Fall of every year they would take their month's vacation and they would go on a trip. As Martha said one time, "If you notice our itinerary is where Brown is playing football." (Laughter)
MDM: I have to correct myself: that site [location] business didn't come up until after bond issue passed. But I think it's best to correct myself on that. I think they were afraid...they didn't know where or what. They were afraid it was a blind [?], they came out with an editorial not long before the voting for some reason. I had to correct myself, the site [issue] did not come up till after that. Then, the Board..., well, Emily can tell you all that.
RVW: What about the relationships with the black branch during this time, say from the 40's on, once the Rosenwald money was gone?
RVW: Was there a black librarian there? Was she trained?
MDM: Susan Butler first; then a wonderful librarian, Mae Holloway Purcell, who was quite remarkable. She got a library degree, she was the first black librarian to be certified in the state. We always had good relations. She influenced me a lot when I was young, used to call me "Little Lady" when I first started to work. We always had good relations, we never refused anybody anything. Now the blacks did not use our branch, but there was a philosophy that once somebody came in you never did anything. We always had---the Board always had a very, very liberal view. We knew that they needed a new branch, but Susan Butler...they really worked hard. Mrs. Purcell then went on the bookmobile with Mrs. Koopman, and she went to a lot of black communities on the second bookmobile. She was a marvelous person.
RVW: So the bookmobile also serviced the black communities?
MM: and MDM: Oh! Yes!
RVW: What did you say the name of the first black librarian was?
MDM: Susan Dart Butler. She was from Dart family.
RVW: No, I mean the one who was trained?
MM: Mae Purcell
MDM: Mae Holloway Purcell. She was a free Negro.
MM: Her husband was a well-known doctor.
RVW: And she was trained? She had library education?
MDM: She went off and got her library degree while she worked for us.
RVW: And then she ran the Dart branch of a number of years?
MM: After Mrs. Butler retired.
RVW: Who did book selection and those kinds of things for the branch? Did funds come from the main county budget for that branch during the late 40's and 50's?
MDM: We had a [budget? for] book selection. We just divided it out among the Negro branch and our branch, and that sort of thing. We never just bought for the whole [black?] community.
RVW: And the black librarian come in and helped with book selection and certain things.
MDM: She made it a request. We didn't have committee meetings in those early years. I started that in adult services and then the black librarian came in. But, we didn't have committee meetings. In the beginning, when I went there, Mrs. Childers did all the book selection. She was there for a year before Emily Sanders came, then Emily did a lot of it. She [Emily] got the circulation head to help with it, and they used to buy a certain number of copies, one for the branch, one for the black branch, one for this, one for that. We really, I would say, with limited resources had a good relationship. We used to go over there and check their catalog and all of that.
RVW: How did you choose the public services, adult services particularly? Was this a conscious choice or something you got into gradually?
MDM: I kind of fell into all of this. I'll tell you, one experience I had with my cataloging. During the war, we couldn't get a cataloger and I was doing reference. I had to do the cataloging in the morning and do the reference desk in the afternoon, but be constantly on call, interrupted from cataloging, for a reference question. You can imagine what I encountered. "You haven't looked that up yet, or, from the cataloger, why isn't this book out?" You know what I mean? Oh! Brother! That was a year. Then we got a cataloger, fortunately, Elizabeth Foley (sp?) to do the cataloging. Then, I could do reference again. I enjoyed it on the bookmobile and the circulation head left and Emily said, "I think we'll combine the two, why don't you do adult services?" I said, "O.K." And so just fell into it. I loved book selection, I just loved it. It was the best thing, I liked reference, too. You had so many interesting questions. Charleston was an interesting place to do reference because, first, we didn't do genealogy, and of course wouldn't, but we did have a lot of questions relating to history which were interesting, as well as general questions. I can remember one time - I was telling about Anne Russell, after I became deputy director under Emily---this young girl came in - there was a ballet school across the way - and this young girl came in her ballet costume. She said, "I would like a job in the library." I asked if she had had any library experience. She said---she was in this ballet costume---"I have a master's degree in library science." I could have dropped on the floor. (Laughter)
MM: She was a darling girl.
MDM: She went to work in the children's room for my sister. She wanted a part-time job, but she literally had a library degree. She was a ballet dancer and was concentrating on her ballet. But I never expected to hear that answer.
MM: She was quite a girl. She brought a lot to the children's room because she had so many experiences, but she had this terrific background in children's books. She had read a lot as a child, she loved this, and she was a marvelous story teller. She had this sort of dramatic flair, just...
RVHC: From her ballet training
MDM: Yes, and she was a beautiful dancer. I'll tell you, Janey Smith, the children's librarian, too, was unique - everybody loved her. Janey was a little lady with a slight humpback, not the least bit pretty, just charming because of her charm. I went to a meeting and one child had written a little thing on her librarian that said, "My children's librarian is beautiful." So, I went to a library meeting and was telling that to somebody that had been to library school with Janey and she said, "Do you know what? I'm going to go into children's work, I was trying to decide, but if that sweet little lady who is not prepossessing in looks at all can be called beautiful by one of her little borrowers, I think there is something in children's library work." Janey was darling, she used to write for The Hornbook; she wrote for all kinds of things. But she was so interested, and she was a sweet little lady. She wasn't that sweet, though, she was very adamant on things she believed in.
MM: She was hard to follow.
MDM: We've had a wonderful staff. We've had wonderful people on the staff, I've enjoyed the associations through the years.
RVW: She was your predecessor, then, Madeline?
MM: Right, I worked closely, but in those years I was not working in the children's room. Charleston, the library was unique in that a lot of local people worked there and stayed. I mean in those years when it was hard to get people, you couldn't entice a lot of people, but it just happened to be that there were a lot of professional librarians who just stayed.
RVW: Who came and then stayed in the town.
MM: Yes, for one reason or another. But I've seen a lot of changes though. Automation now, and all this business that grew up.
RVW: Yes, a lot of changes. Now, Madeline, you pretty much purposefully chose children's work over time because of your school libraries.
MM: Mostly because of school and what not, and I enjoyed - always have enjoyed - the children. This is just - I loved the school and that was what I wanted to do, but it just seemed the thing [to go to the public library] to do at the time and I never regretted it. But I changed jobs practically every seven years, and yet I was fortunate enough that all them had state retirement. So that when I came in, we didn't have state retirement when I first started, but then they gave enough credit for back years so I had my forty-three years which was all with the state because the county schools were state retirement, Winthrop College was state retirement, the extension work was state retirement, and the library was state retirement. So I never did anything except state, yet within that framework I changed [jobs]. It just seemed at the time -
MDM: And with me I just stayed on with library, so ...
RVW: Did you study children's literature at Emory? Or was it a general course?
MM: No, I studied children's literature under Evelyn Jackson. Wonderful.
RVW: She has quite a reputation.
MM: Oh! That woman was something else. I mean, you know ... We had really fine people at Emory, from Miss Barker on down. Miss Barker was the administrator, she taught, and she was such a wonderful person.
RVW: She must have been quite a dynamo in those days, doing things all over.
MM: I can remember when they decided that Emory Library School was going into the graduate division. Somebody said something about Miss Barker will lose her status as dean, and become just a department head. Someone else replied that's not going to worry Miss Barker a minute; she's not that kind of a person. Whatever was behind her name wasn't going to bother her at all. I saw her not long after that; her attitude was you did what was best for the profession. That was the attitude of all those people.
RVW: And you took courses with Evelyn Jackson, who else was ? (laughter)
MM: Every time I could get a chance. She taught the general book selection. I was very fortunate when I took children's literature with her that I was on limited schedule, they worked it out my last year that if I came in the Spring quarter I could take certain things and finish up at the end of the summer by going straight through. Fortunately for me, the children's literature was in that Spring quarter when I had a very, very short course. I took school library administration, county library administration, and children's literature that Spring. School library administration met once a week, and so did county library administration, which was really just extension but at that time they called it county library; so that the bulk of my time was spent on children's literature.
RVHC: Did she have you read and read children's books?
MM: I did that, she didn't have to ask.
RVHC: You'd already read.
MM: Oh! We read. The philosophy then was the knowledge of the book itself was what was important.
MDM: We had the same thing at Chapel Hill, we had to read so many books a week and review them and get up - boy - you had to read.
RVHC: I remember that from children's literature.
MDM: Read, read, read, and reference. You had to answer every question.
MM: It wasn't just looking up in the card catalog and saying, "Yes, we have this book."
MDM: I became fascinated with reference under Miss Kelley. And boy, we had to look; we didn't go to her without having found the answer to every question either. If you hadn't done your assignment or a question you had to look up, you'd better go back and look. I want to correct something, because I don't want to give the impression. The newspaper did not oppose us until the very last minute on that editorial, and I think they were afraid. In the early years, the site [was an issue] but, there we got good cooperation from the newspaper - and I don't want to sound like we were at war with the newspaper because we're not.
MDM: They've given us good coverage, of course I'm not there now, but they have given good cooperation and they did in the beginning and I really want to end that on a positive note.
MM: They've been fine.
RVW: I was just amazed that you could overcome the newspaper's opposition at the last minute.
MDM: See, they didn't oppose it, they really didn't give that big opposition until the last minute. That was the funny thing.
RVW: Before they had run articles supporting, trying to give publicity to the library.
MDM: In the beginning, to the condition of the library. I'd like to end it on a positive note because...
RVW: Well, before we leave Emory...it occurred to me that a former professor of mine, William L. Williamson---do you remember him? He's an Emory grad, about your time. I can't remember when he finished.
MM: I was there in the summers, and I went in the Spring. The Spring quarter that I was there was the first year that they had the G.I. students, and they started a new group that Spring. I was neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring because I was not of the class that was finishing and not with the class that was starting. My crowd came back in the summer. David Estes was in there.
RVW: Oh, he was.
MDM: Were you at Emory?
RVW: I used to be. My wife is an Emory graduate. I used to live very close to Emory. I worked in Atlanta four years, but one of my professors at Wisconsin was an Emory grad at about the same time that you were there or you were finishing.
MM: I loved Atlanta. Did you go to the Opera?
RVW: Yes, though I'm not really an opera fan.
MM: We are. We had our tickets for the opera every year for years.
MDM: Over twenty-five years.
RVHC: Oh, really and -
MDM: We'd always cut one night of the opera, and guess what we did?
RVW: Go hear Dixieland?
MDM: No, go to see the Braves. (laughter)
RVW: Two choices of things. How does Emory's closing strike you as an alum?
MM: I didn't answer because I didn't know what to say. I hate to see it because it was a good library school. I don't know - I haven't had that much contact, but you know, I'm not surprised. In the very beginning, when we had the library school, I didn't go in the very first years, but it was - you were just not accepted as part of the university. It was mostly because I think it was male, it was all male then except for the nursing school and the library school. You had no contact, I mean you had no dormitory to stay in except in the summer when it was the summer school for Agnes Scott, then you had to go (the last summer I was there) by Agnes Scott because the Navy had taken over and the dormitories were all closed and you had to find a place to stay off campus, unless you wanted to go to Agnes Scott. Well, I wasn't going to spend my last summer run by Agnes Scott undergraduate regulations, no way! A friend of mine, who was a librarian at Spartanburg High School umteen years, she and I stayed together off campus. It was ok, they had shuttle bus service. You stayed at Agnes Scott, the bus came in the morning, took you back home for lunch, but you had to eat the meals at Emory, when Agnes Scott served the meals you had - at least I wasn't too old for that. It really upset me, but then I got to thinking about it. I don't know, I guess the other library schools around, of course South Carolina having one now its a little bit easier. Of course, in those days you had to go either to Georgia or North Carolina, or Columbia. A lot of people from Charleston went to Columbia.
RVW: It's been an interesting thing, what's essentially happening is that Georgia is going to be, except for Atlanta University, totally without an accredited school now.
MM: And that's terrible, I think ...
RVW: It's big issue.
MDM: I think it's terrible just as an -
MM: I think so, too. But I don't know why -
MDM: It's a shame. They have, however, one of the best veterinary schools in the country.
MM: Maybe they were too independent.
RVW: Well, let's go back and talk about other kinds of problems, impressions about the county library over the years. I'm particularly wondering if you - about your years as director. You went from doing reference work, and then adult services, so gradually ...
MDM: Then deputy director, then gradually was able ... I think I helped Emily a lot. But, then gradually we got Roberta Millard (sp?) to come back to do reference. I was trying to do everything. I kept the book selection until [later]. You know, she (Emily Sanders) built an extraordinary number of branches for the money and the time. We built the Cooper River Memorial Branch, which was done with money from the JC's up there, and we built a branch on Mt. Pleasant, of course, while she was still director and I was assistant we had built the new Dart Hall, and named it for Joel N.(sp?) Dart. We built the West Ashley branch with the money left over from the bond issue.
RVW: Any particular frustrations, things you wish you had been able to do over the years that you weren't able to do?
MDM: Yes, buy books.
RVW: Buy books?
MDM: Always, of course, when the state aid came in that helped a little bit. Always the book selection, always we didn't have enough money for books, they still don't.
RVW: And you say Miss Walker was a real friend to you during these years.
MDM: Oh, yes. She was a big personal friend as well. She really built up libraries in the state. One of the things that came up when I was director, which was - you know when the board was established they were incorporated and Jack Walker wanted to have things universal. They worked and worked to get the county libraries on some sort of standard basis and so they got the bill through the legislature which created the board. The board was then changed from a self perpetuating board to being appointed by county council officially. The idea was the board would become an official body, because it wasn't. It was incorporated, but it was self perpetuating. I remember one of my board members was always worried that something would happen that he would be sued. Anyway, so they did get that and they got it fundamentally all over the state, and the definite duties of the board. The board was to appoint the director, and the board was to have duties over this. Now, that I think was quite an accomplishment of the State Library, and it came up during my ... and what they did was just appoint the people already on the board as their terms expired. The board had always tried to get people from all over the county, but that was a ... Another thing Emily and I had worked on was standards, we were on the standards committee. We worked on the personnel committee, and standards. We were - the State Library was - always trying to get salaries up, trying to get the per capita expenditures. We tried to help with that. I was on the committee for the directors of the library. Betty Callaham has now gotten it up to a dollar per capita, that's pretty good. We were nothing [per capita wise before], but we always needed books; we still do. And we ran behind Columbia and Greenville in appropriations. It was a struggle because when you think of a little library that starts just with Rosenwald Fund and how she [Emily Sanders] built up all those branches, and we did get state aid for books and all but we wanted the book selection to be better, at the time I left. See, I retired earlier, probably, than I would have because of ill health. We've gotten the book collection up but not nearly - only way we got it up was with state aid. We still don't get enough money.
RVW: What about from your perspective, Madeline? In terms of joys, frustrations, during those years of children's work?
MM: My biggest frustration in the children's room was trying to handle study hall situations, because it bothered me because I thought they weren't getting a lot out of the children's room, they were just extending the school day it was quite ...
MDM: That was true though.
MM: You can have -I think the room seated around sixteen to twenty children, and you would have thirty, forty, fifty, sixty and same old thing. You felt, you tried to do what you could. You had to turn yourself back into a disciplinarian, when you'd have little children lined up waiting to get their turn, waiting for an encyclopedia or to sit at the table. I think that was the greatest frustration, because you wanted to do something else, you wanted to do the sort of thing, the function of children's room rather than a school library. You didn't the authority in a way, and the children's room was open just such short hours in the afternoon when you consider that the schools close at two and two-thirty and then, the children's room closed at six, the reading room stayed open till seven, but that I think was the biggest frustration. Of course, books but that year of the title pages helped so much. Literally, there was one year we started the summer reading program, you walked into the children's room and the shelves were empty. I mean, literally, empty. We went to the Charleston News and bought hoards of Little Golden Books, that sort of thing, to have books on the shelves.
RVHC: It was a successful program.
MM: Yes, I think that really was the biggest frustration, but then the books did come. And another thing that I - there are lots of times and situations - we dealt with parents rather children.
RVW: It's always surprised me that Greenville, essentially a mill town, would have better county per capita library support than the heart of gold, Charleston.
MDM: They had an established library long before we did.
MM: I know, but there is one big thing. They were more industrial, Charleston was [not] really industrial. They [Greenville] had all these big corporations and mills bringing in tax money.
RVW: And Charleston wasn't willing to come up with that per capita tax support?
MM: They didn't have the tax base. You look at this section, it was farming, an agrarian economy, not an industrial. It's changing now, but -
MDM: I think that one reason it took so long to establish the library here.
MM: Miss Perry was a fine librarian, Charley Stowe was fine, they have had good luck with people up there, too.
RVW: Let's talk about work with South Carolina Library Association over these years. Now, you were president and you were active in -
MDM: I was secretary one year, I was president of the public library section one year, and then was president. We were still having growing pains, the association. We'd been an association, but also, you had these big people who had their perspective, their sights, like Nancy and Jack Walker. They were in touch with the library world outside of the state, but the average person was not. You had a lot of semi-trained people, people who had taken these undergraduate courses, both at Winthrop and at Carolina. No matter what anybody said, going to a university [for a graduate degree] gives you a perspective. That's the big value. Then you could take a local course on cataloging, but you didn't always get vision from these piecemeal courses, especially if you took a course once - there was no continuity. Also if you did extension, yes - you got the credit, it's on the paper, you can get credit and get your salary. But you didn't get the broad perspective, at least that is what it seemed to me. So the year that I was president we were still trying to give a view and a perspective. I can remember [not clear?] saying to me one day, "Look, our nation is cutting, we've had no program at all on automation, we're still going down and trying" - but this is what people wanted. They couldn't see the forest for the trees. Now we have people with broader vision trained, and clientele. I think one of the first things I said to the association as a whole was "We've got to work on finding our place in the big scheme of things, as it were." It took a long time, we didn't get it done that year, but you were still feeling your way and you were still worrying about people get appropriations, get trained people, that sort of thing. So that you were immersed in the association rather than giving people vision, you were trying to get them help to meet goals. Now, the year that I was president was the first year of National Library Week, and Virginia Mankes came down and she spoke to the convention, which was in Charleston in the Fall of '57. We went all out for our exhibits and store windows and things like that. That was probably a beginning of being into it, and a lot of times with the association and everything, you couldn't always leave to go because some one had to "mind the store."
MM: Yes, that was it. We had to staff the library, and we were still short staffed.
MDM: We try to get there now. Jan [Buvinger, Director, Charleston County Library] tries to get there whenever she can.
MM: It took awhile.
MDM: Even if you planned to go and something came up. I had a suitcase packed one time to go, and one of the branch librarians fell and sprained an ankle so I had to unpack the suitcase. The thing is this: there wasn't any sense in trying to encourage people to use the library if you weren't there when they came. All of this outreach business and all is fine, but it means you have to staff enough to leave somebody in the library.
MM: They do a lot better now about going to the meetings.
MDM: If you are going to do that then you have to get the people who are going to stay, who is going to work extra. We did have story hours and day cares and things like that. We tried, but it was sacrificing your main job to do that.
MM: You asked me about things that came up in my time. I don't recall it as frustration, but you know a lot of emphasis I had to tell with was this beginning of trying to re-do our buildings to suit the handicapped. The handicapped was very much emphasized. I'm sympathetic with them, but we had a lot of it to do. Then, of course, we got SOLINET [Southeastern Library Network], which was - RVW: Oh, yes.
MDM: We got that during my - we got several things like that during my short period - but that handicapped thing was very interesting, but also, I won't say frustrating, but it caused a lot of worry because we had to try to conform with the restrooms, and with this and with that. It wasn't easy.
RVW: Changes to the buildings are expensive, too.
MDM: That came up during my ... I was trying to think of the things to contend with and that was one thing that came up - plus that legal thing, plus, as I said, the books. Oh! Brother!
RVW: Now integration had been pretty well accomplished?
MDM: Oh! Heavens yes.
MM: You know integration - we a ...
RVW: Did that cause you much trouble?
MDM: Not really. Integration: you see the Board always had a very healthy attitude, that we should serve everybody. In the beginning, we had a lot of hordes coming into the new building. There wasn't any reason to come into the other building because it wasn't that much better, frankly. We had hordes coming in, I think they probably wanted to demonstrate, but soon there wasn't any reason - I mean - they were ...
RVW: But the new building was a lot different?
MDM: Yes, because it was new, that was the biggest difference. We have always had - I would say we've had a good integration relationship on the whole. Our fine librarian who was black, Rebecca Steadney, came and did duty at the reference desk. People didn't seem to take exception to it.
RVW: Let's go back to SCLA - in terms of - Was SCLA a help to the counties libraries during this time, particularly Charleston County, but other county libraries? You talk about broadening visions, certainly that... MDM: You did get help because everybody's problems were the same, all over the state.
MM: But I don't think they were such a great amount of help to us. Not as an association. The State Library was.
RVW: Because it was weak, or just ... ?
MDM: It was just the circumstances. [Comments lost because three people were speaking at once.]
RVW: SCLA? Was it a help for the county libraries?
MDM: I don't believe that they were. I think they worked on state aid.
MM: Yes, they did, they worked on state aid.
RVW: What about - were they active in getting LSA money and then later LSCA money?
MM: They worked, yes, they [the leadership] followed a logic stand, the state library, in those days.
MDM: I want to tell you, when I was asked to contact a legislator, or somebody else, which I did, on things that came up, I was asked by the State Library, not by SCLA. I remember Betty Callaham phoning me and asking me to phone Tommy Hardaman, I shouldn't say that because that gets personal, about something.
RVW: That's all right. Go ahead.
MDM: So I did, and Tommy voted for it. But that was through the State Library rather than the association.
MM: I think the association followed the leadership of the State Library. And also ...
MDM: But it was the State Library that contacted us to help with things like that. And they are the ones that asked us to do this, to make these political contacts.
MM: But as an officer of the association, you followed the lead and to write. But actually the leadership came more from the State Library and the school part came from Nancy Day's office.
RVW: Now, LSA money starts in what '56? Sometime right about when you were president, I believe.
MDM: It started around then....
RVW: I have the date, too, someplace. But that sticks in my mind. I finished high school in 1956, and I seem to pick that date out
MDM: See how young you are!
RVW: I thought that was the first year of LSA money.
MDM: I think so, but that - we did work with that through the State Library.
MM: Through the State Library rather than SCLA. Also -
RVW: Rather than the association.
MDM: My contact as deputy director in these years was done through the State Library. Which I can't speak too much of - I think they do a wonderful job.
MM: The South Carolina Library Association did try to bring the various groups together, and I think that was good. It was contact. You didn't sit [still], as Margaret said, they were the ones where you learned, if you were in schools you learned about public libraries.
MDM: It was good. It was a good contact.
MM: It was very, very good. But as far as leadership was concerned, leadership came from the State Library.
MDM: Everything I had when I was the director, most of it came from them.
RVW: Madeline, I noticed that you taught Library Science for the extension division of USC. Now, did you play any role in getting the library school established. You just taught that one course.
MM: I taught library guidance for teachers, and also children's. Now what I was interested in, and as you probably know, was children's literature the last years. Now I stopped doing it when it became a graduate library school. They stopped the extension. The children's literature was taught under the English department in cooperation with the library science, because library science at that time did not give the graduate degree, and these teachers were working for their graduate credit. They had to have graduate credit so they put it under the [English Department] - We followed more or less the guidelines - we taught it more as book selection, library science. You had to make a sort of judicious ... Yes - I taught six to nine Monday nights up in the ... they made an exception and let me use a room in the library, since I was staff. That was before anything was done on a regular basis, six to nine on Monday nights. And then I taught one summer, which I did not like, that little short course, five week course or something, no, shorter than that even, that's not long enough for children's literature. The hours, yes, you have that many hours of lecture but it's not - there is no time to digest.
RVW: You can't read those books and get them digested, right?
MM: No time. I thought that was the least, now they got the hours after their name, but what good did that do them?
RVW: We're getting close to the time when we need to go and have a bite of lunch and get back to talk to Miss Sanders, but you all probably saw my last question about two sisters at the same library. [laughter] How did that work out over the years?
MM: No problem.
MM: It was not a problem at all.
RVW: The board didn't object to this - that you were the director and supervising your sister?
MDM: I didn't. She retired when I became director.
RVW: Oh! Is that right?
MM: I retired.
MDM: I would have had to supervise her as deputy director, because I was deputy director for Emily for years, but of course sometimes Emily was away.
MM: No, we just sort of talked, back and forth on the way to work.
MDM: No problem.
MM: I can't create a problem for you because there wasn't any.
RVW: The older sister didn't tell the younger sister what to do?
MM: No! The other way around. She tried, really tried. [laughter]
MDM: I wouldn't say that, but no.
MM: We sympathesized with each otherís problems.
RVHC: Well, you had lived together all your lives.
MDM: Yes, right. And until the last few years with Mother, and we had to care for Mama. I shouldn't say care about, because she was something else. She was eighty-seven when she died, she went to the hospital on Thursday and died the following Tuesday. MM: We had six girls in the family and two boys, and gradually we have dwindled.
MDM: We didn't get married and most of the girls did, we have twenty-four nieces and nephews and we are very close to them.
RVW:: Where did the other sister that is a librarian go to library school?
MDM: Catholic University.
RVW: Oh! You told me that .
MDM: She lives in Alexandria, Virginia. She's a librarian at a boy's private school right now.
RVHC: Which one?
MM: St. Stephen's
RVHC: My son went to Episcopal High School.
MDM: She has four daughters and one son, and youngest of the four daughters is now at the College of Charleston, so we see her. She decided to come down here.
RVW: Now, Madeline are you the oldest of all these children or?
MM: My brother Thomas is the oldest, then me.
MDM: Then me.
RVW: How many more came?
MDM: Then Tancy, Louise, Lily, Phoenix, and Jimmy. Had another boy on the other end.
MDM: Jimmy is here in the division of the National Institute of Health.
MM: Louise has a doctorate, the one I stayed with, and was supervisor of the county schools, in mathematics of all things.
RVW: I didn't get where your father taught school.
MDM: Charleston High School.
MM: And then he became principal, and he died when he was in his forties. He was forty-seven. And I was a sophomore in college and she was a senior in high school, my brother was out of college by virtue of the fact that he had gone to college when he was fifteen years old.
MDM: You see Emily and I inherited from her was a good administrator, that she really, unless the department heads did something outrageous, which they really didn't do, she let the department heads run the department in consultation. Tape ends. End of interview.
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