Interview with: Frances Lander Spain (FLS)

Date of Interview: September 28, 1986
Place: Schenectady, New York
Interviewer: Robert V. Williams (RVW)
Transcriber: Roberta VH. Copp
Permission to Use Restrictions

Note: Following are excerpts from an interview with Dr. Frances Lander Spain. Parts of this interview not pertaining to South Carolina have been omitted. Edited omissions in the interview are marked by ***Edited Omission***.

Begin Tape 1, Side 1

RVW: This is an interview with Dr. Frances Lander Spain. The interviewer is Robert V. Williams. The interview is taking place in her apartment in Schenectady, New York on Sunday September 28, 1986. Let's begin at the beginning. You were born in Jacksonville, Florida?

FLS: Yes.

RVW: I gather your real family beginnings were in South Carolina?

FLS: South Carolina for my mother's family and my father's family after a certain period but his basic family was North Carolina. His family came into South Carolina in the 70's, (1870's) and after then my grandfather, Samuel Lander, was identified with South Carolina education. More for women particularly so I really claim South Carolina as my family.

RVW: So this is your mother's [family]?

FLS: This is father's family the Lander's. My mother's family was a Danzter family from Orangeburg County, and they go way back in the South Carolina history. My father's family was in Williamston. Is that Anderson County? Anyhow, it is in the up country part.

RVW: So it was your father's side of the family that established Lander College?

FLS: Yes. My grandfather was a Methodist Minister, and he left the North Carolina Conference when the Methodist Conference was divided and joined the South Carolina Conference. The Williamston Church needed a minister and asked for a young bachelor, or they had no place for him to stay, and a very small church with a small income. When the committee went to the train to meet their new minister, a man with seven children got off the train, and it rather floored the church. It was an old hotel there because it was a healthy spring in the park there in Williamston, and at one time it had attracted people who came to the waters . It had been closed for some time so the church made arrangements to have it opened up and used it for the parsonage. My grandfather got permission from the Bishop to do some teaching; he had been basically a teacher for all the years of his active life. From that he developed a day school and then a boarding school and then incorporated it. The sponsors were pretty good, and he incorporated the Williamston Female Academy, I think it was called. That grew and then in l903 , I think it was, Greenwood offered the church some land and other considerations, I think, to help build a solid, central building The buildings, I believe, were dedicated by my grandfather but he died before the College was ever opened at Greenwood. The first year after that the conference changed the name since it was no longer appropriate to have it named the Williamston Female Academy and they changed it to Lander College. The building is now part of the Higher Education program of the State of South Carolina, and it has retained its name which pleases the members of the family very much, of course.

RVW: Now you were there a few years ago for the dedication of your grandfather's portrait, is that right?

FLS: Yes, in 1981 we found through those surprising things that happen every once in awhile. There had been a portrait of my grandfather when he was President of Davenport College, a College up in North Carolina. The College had closed during the Depression, as many small Colleges closed at that time, and the trustees notified the families of the former President's that they might have their portraits if someone in the family would come and get them. My aunt, Mrs. Prince, Martha Mattie Lander Prince, was the eldest, asked a relative in North Carolina (because basically the Lander family was North Carolina) if she would go over and pick up the portrait until some member in our branch could come for it. This cousin did. About thirty years later when they were doing over their house, one of the younger members thought that somebody closer to my grandfather in Schenectady, New York might like to have the portrait. I believe one of them was a librarian and knew that I had retired and had seen an announcement of that and I was notified and ask if I would like to have it and of course I said yes. I had never heard of it or seen it before, but I was glad to have it. When I saw it, I was very impressed; it was a very nice portrait of my grandfather, (our grandfather), as a young man as he was at that time so I got in touch with the members of the family, my first cousins. We were all astonished about this; no one had ever heard of him, our Aunt Mattie evidently didn't think it was very important, or forgot about it; as we get older do sometimes [do that]. So my daughter, who had the portrait on her walls up here in Schenectady for several years said it bothered her everytime she looked at it; she thought it belonged to Lander College. So one summer when I visited her here, I think it was, she came out with a big package: it big, 30 by 30, it was a real portrait, and put it in the back of the car. So I asked my cousins, particularly Laura Lander Brown, who was at that time the eldest surviving member, [she was a first cousin] and my cousin Ernest Lander, who has been on the faculty of Clemson and sort of the archivist of the family. I wrote to them jointly and told [them] about this portfolio of my aunt and ask what they thought and would they circulate to some other cousins that lived in South Carolina because they saw them and could talk to them. Everybody thought it was a pretty good idea to give it to Lander. Dr. Jackson was delighted . What embarrassed me considerably was that when I wrote to him about the portrait he accepted it and would like to have it very much, yes, but he wasn't quite sure when to accept it. I had suggested that the Founder's Day Service, which is held every year on my grandfather's birthday, on the 31st of January, and he hesitated. He said he would let me know there were some committees that would have to be consulted. I later got a letter from him stating that long before I had sent that letter (and my daughter can verify that I had gotten upset and called her) there had been a suggestion that I would be honored with a Doctor of Humanities Degree at the commencement. Seems they do that nearly every year for a person with connection in South Carolina. I was really quite embarrassed because here I was giving this portrait; not myself [of course, because] right from the beginning [it was being] given in name of the family, the Lander family. I stressed that all through it. But, it did embarrass me. But my daughter had told me that she had not told me ahead of time, but during the summer her friend, Jean Jones Park, she's the wife of William John Park of Park Seed Company in Greenwood and a very good friend of my daughter's, because her father had been the registrar at Winthrop College and had died just before I got there but they had lived on for a year or two while the children finished certain grades at the Winthrop training school so my daughter and Jean were in the same grade and knew each other, [and were] very good friends and continued their friendship because Jean went to Winthrop College. Jean had written my daughter that a committee had been to see her and had asked some questions about my experiences, my life, about where I had taught, what I had done, especially my foreign experiences. Barbara had written a long letter to Jean who had in turn turned the facts of it to the committee, because the committee was considering me for a honorary degree. All this was a secret and Barbara had not divulged this very exciting information. So Barbara could verify the fact that this degree was not because of the gift I was giving . One of my cousins called me and wanted to know how I got it. I explained it to her and cleared it up, but it did look so obvious; you make a contribution of a million dollars and you get an honorary degree; only I didn't have a million dollars to give. I was highly honored to have the degree and at that commencement. That's the reason Dr. Jackson wouldn't give a date at first; he had to know whether I had been accepted for this excellent degree. I believe it was several committee's outside of the college that had something to do with this and he would have to give the degree at the commencement and he thought it was more appropriate and would save me two trips if he could do both at the same time so it turned out that way. It really was an embarrassment to me, though I am very pleased to have the degree and quite honored.

RVW: How did your folks get to Florida, did your parents move down there?

FLS: My father volunteered in the Spanish American War. He lived in South Carolina, and he volunteered to go with the Governor's Guard. I believe they were raising troops and my father volunteered (that was long before he and my mother were married). He was sent eventually to a place called Panama Park, a sub-division of Jacksonville out on the river where the encampment was. He actually never got to Cuba because he was made ill, as so many of the soldiers, by the bully beef that was served the men by some of the meat packers who became famous throughout and still are. Anyway, he liked [Florida] so much that when he got out of the army and recovered and by that time had taken the civil service exam ... He was graduated from Wofford in a classical traditions. His group was in those days, and there wasn't any work for classicists. He took the civil service exam and passed it very nicely, of course, with his college degree and became a railway postal clerk. He spent the rest of his life doing that. He had a chance to transfer or to go to Jacksonville and he accepted that opportunity: possible that he could have even applied for it. He was living in Jacksonville, but he came back to South Carolina to marry my mother.

RVW: Your mother is from South Carolina?

FLS: Yes, she is a Dantzler from the Orangeburg District in the low country and had gone to Winthrop Female College. She was a very attractive young woman, and a daughter of a Methodist Minister as my father was. She was quite attractive to boys as well as girls and this disturbed her father. He investigated where he could send her and thought Brother Lander's school up in Williamston would be fine: it was a girl's school . He did not investigate the fact that Brother Lander had eleven children and nine of them were boys and one of them was the appropriate age. Some way my father and mother met there, but they were not married for several years, seven or eight years later.

RVW: So, you went to public school then in Jacksonville?

FLS: Yes, Yes.

RVW: Do you have any brother and sisters?

FLS: I had a brother and a sister, both younger than I who both died as babies, so I was reared as an older child out of the three children.

RVW: You finished high school in Jacksonville?

FLS: In Jacksonville and it was a question of where to go and what to do. I worked in the Jacksonville Public Library and loved it. The librarian wanted me to go to Brown University, which at that time had a an in-service training program. You worked in the Library and had maybe a class where you worked in the Library and maybe a class on how to catalog or book selection; simple things; it was not recognized anywhere, but it was training. The New York Public Library had the same kind of thing . A number of large libraries had, you know. My mother and father, I think they approved of it. In fact that's the reason I worked in the public library, that was the only kind of work my family approved of during the war when our friends were getting jobs. But they did not like it because it was inside work, and I was interested in sports . I never had been very good in sports, but I had taken part. I had gone out for the basketball team and things like that. I was kind of talked into, I think, the ideal of Physical Education. I was thinking that was good for you, to gather with those out in the fresh air with exercise and sports and at that time Winthrop College, had as far as I know, a very good program of physical education. Lander did not. I do not know whether the University had but that wouldn't have made any difference because the University was at that time for male men and Winthrop for women. It was the only school close by that was acceptable. There were several schools here in the North, of course, that had it but that was the only one near by. My mother had finished Winthrop. (After her first training at Lander she had gone to Winthrop.) So it was a natural place to go. My uncle by marriage, Dr. John O. Wilson , was president of Lander College and Aunt Kathleen Lander Wilson was the Lady President, they called her, I think. They expected me to go to Lander; all of my cousins had. I, in a way, was glad not to go. I thought it would be awkward to be a student where your uncle was President, whether it meant favoritism -- or trying not to make it favoritism -- there would be a bending over the other way not to let me do things that might be perfectly legitimate things. Anyhow, because of my interest or my desire to go into the Physical Education program, my aunt and uncle accepted that reason for me to go to Winthrop. I always visited them and had good relations with them.

RVW: You had started working at the Public Library in Jacksonville even before you finished high school?

FLS: Yes, I was a page. I was sure I ran the library cause I felt so important there. I loved it. I worked on one afternoon a week (I believe on Wednesday afternoon and all day Saturday) and, of course, it was a chance to see everybody who came into the library. I'd sit down at the desk or stamp books or put cards in or simple things like that. I counted the day lost if some boy had not stopped by and I could have a conversation with him. I wondered some times (by an old dairy I have) how much work I did . In the summer time I worked full time; I took the place of staff members who were on vacation. I guess it was about two winters and two summers that I worked there.

RVW: How did you get started doing this?

FLS: This was the war, this was the first world war and the war really was over because it was about [19]17 when I started working, I think. The men were still gone and there was a need for workers and many of my friends had gone to work in offices, stores, and any kind of thing we could get. I was pretty sure my family wouldn't let me work in a store or office. So, the only thing I could think of that I might be able to do was the library and of course I had been going to the library since I had been taken there by my mother and by my father. I would go for story hour, go for books, go after school. There was one school in Jacksonville at that time and you would go by the library on the way home. So I went one day and spoke to the assistant, Elizabeth Long; Ms. Lizzie Long, who said she knew me, and she knew mother, and I was the kind of girl they would like to have, but she would have to talk to the librarian. She did, the man was named Joslin, Mr. Joslin. He later went to Lafayette University -- no what's at Lafayette? Purdue -- he was librarian there a number of years after I started. Then there was a Mr. Barron. Anyhow, Mr. Joslin said I could come. I would have to take some lessons. He would have [to] give me some instructions and I would have to work a month without any pay to see if I could learn what to do. Now [at] that particular moment (this was in the beginning of the summer) Miami, which was a little wide place in the road at that time -- this was in '17 or '18, some where along in there -- wanted a library and they had appointed a nice widow who's husband had died. A lady had been appointed to start the library, and she knew absolutely nothing about it so somebody in Miami, city fathers or Dade county commissioners -- I don't know who -- made arrangements with Mr. Joslin of the Jacksonville public library (which at that time was the biggest and almost the oldest -- Orlando and Tampa may have had older ones -- they had small libraries) but it [Jacksonville] was the big library. Somebody made arrangements with Mr. Joslin to give this lady -- whose name, I have no idea -- some training. So she was to spend a month in Jacksonville working and getting instructions. I joined her and Mr. Joslin gave us lessons . He would meet us every morning; he taught us how to alphabetize cards, and I have always been grateful to Mr. Joslin because he said I'm showing you certain things. They had library hand; perfectly round, absolutely character loop kind of writing; it's a pity I had not learned that better because you can't read my writing now. He said I'm going to show you the way that we do this usually, but [also] he said, if you can do it a better way and it's quicker and it's just as good, you are welcome to do it your way. Which gave me right at the beginning a very nice flexibility and feeling that yes, certain things you do this way; certain things you don't if there is another way to do things and you get the same results, you can do it. Not all librarians feel that way but that was very good and I have always been grateful to him for that. He would give us lessons and meet us sometime in the morning to discuss certain aspects of library work. Much of it meant nothing to me since I had no need for it, but I was glad to listen in . Much of it was instructional; [for example] what to do shelving books. I never went into cataloging. I don't know whether this other lady did or not. Miss Long did the cataloging, I think, and maybe she helped her. Anyway, we had instruction and then she and I were assigned. We sat at the desk, stamped books , make out registration cards; occasionally you would help someone with reference work, things like that . We didn't know very much about it but we did learn and she of course was really learning this for a most important problem. I was going to be working as trained staff, so it was important for me to know it, but not [with] the same motivation that this lady had. After the month, we had both passed and the lady went to Miami and started what is now a very large (I think now, they have a new building) library. I worked there in the library and I think for the whole summer I got $60.00, not counting that free month. He told me good-bye, that summer vacations were over, and they didn't need me. I was sorry, but I was going to be a junior, I think, in high school and I knew that was going to be a hard class [and] I was doing some dating then. After I stopped work for maybe a week or ten days, Mr. Joslin called and said they did have a place and if I talked to my mother first and to see if it would interfere with my lessons, and if she and my father would allow it. This was back in the days when families were very important. Mother said she thought it would be all right and I could work one day in the afternoon . I could work after school and fill in on Saturday, which was always a busy day in public libraries. Then they asked if I wanted to do it and, of course, I liked to see people, especially the boys that might come in, and have a conversation with them. So that's how I got started.

RVW: You came back to work in the summer while you were in Winthrop?

FLS: No, no, I never did again . That was the end of it. No, I did different things: one summer I went to a camp; then one summer one of the Jacksonville parks. One summer I think I took off and traveled. I went to South Carolina to see all my kin people. That was the year before my senior year and that promised to be a busy year . I don't know, we were somewhat isolated down there in Florida; we did have a car after my sophomore year in college, a Ford of course. My mother and father tried to keep in touch with the family so when possible I would try to go back and spend some time. I think I used that summer more as just visiting and I went to a summer conference in Blue Ridge, which was the YWCA summer conference up there in the Black Mountains , you know where the Ridge Crest and summer churches have conferences. I just didn't do anything else. So I never worked in that library again.

RVW: Did you work in a library when you were a student in Winthrop?

FLS: No, I was involved with outside things and I never did any work at Winthrop, but I did not work in a library.

RVW: You finished Winthrop in 1925 and shortly after that you married Donald Spain?

FLS: Yes, in the fall. So I really never did work after college and before my marriage.

RVW: Where was Mr. Spain from?

FLS: Actually, he was born in Atlanta but his family was South Carolina; down in Darlington, Sumter, and that part of the state. His grandfather was Major A. C. Spain, who was well known at this time in the legal life. His mother was a Scots woman; she had been born in Scotland. When I tried to do sketches of our ancestors for my grandchildren (their ancestors) I included Don's family as well as mine. Unfortunately as young people so often do, I had not been curious enough to talk with Mrs. Spain about her family also at that time. This was back in the 20's and 30's when I went into the family and she died in the 30's as a relatively young woman. That was still the tail end of a period when the foreigners, (of course she was from an English speaking Anglo country, but she was still a foreigner to this country). They kind of wanted to minimize their ancestors, their background. This new thing of your roots, I wish it had been in effect then. Because the little bits I have been able to get, from one of the nieces, one of her nieces had traveled and had been in Scotland and had really gotten in touch with some of the kin people but hadn't gone deep enough to really get much about it . So I know very little about Mrs. Spain, though I had a wonderful brief week in Scotland. I didn't have transportation. She was from Glasglow, on the West side of Scotland, and I was staying in Edinburgh, going out from there. That was before I was particularly interested in this. Now I would have made a point in getting over and doing something else. So I know very little about her family, but his family was a long standing one in South Carolina.

RVW: How did you meet Mr. Spain?

FLS: They came to Jacksonville. His father came to Jacksonville and he [Don] was in school. He died of pneumonia within ten years of our marriage. His mother died and our little son died. So my life sort of stopped, that kind of life.

RVW: Where were you living in the ten years you were married?

FLS: In Jacksonville. He was with the Barnette National Bank. We went to Winter Park where he was in a bank there for a year and then moved to Jacksonville, so that became home for us.

RVW: His education was in banking?

FLS: That was his field , yes.

RVW: And he died of pneumonia?

FLS: Pneumonia. It was just before penicillin. My little son died of it and his mother died of it. We had two children, Barbara and the little boy named Don. So I had to do something to support Barbara and me.

RVW: What did you do during those ten years? Where you full time mother ?

FLS: I was introduced one time by a librarian who gave a full history of my life, week by week, and then he said I see where Mrs. Spain was unemployed for ten years. So I got up and instead making the speech I had planned to make, I defended my unemployed years because I was kind of busy. I was, of course, a wife and mother of one and keeping house. Doing all the other things a family has to do . But I did nothing in the way [of employment]. I came back to Jacksonville and one of the junior high schools needed a physical ed. assistant. I knew the physical ed. teacher of that school and she asked me if I would like to do it. Well, (I think we were still living with mother and father then), I had nothing to do, I had no children at this time, so I said yes. So, for the rest of that term which wasn't very much. I became pregnant and stopped before the term was over. For about four months I did teaching in a junior high school in Jacksonville. But other than that I did nothing. It was not the thing to do then. Husbands didn't particularly care for their wives to work then; it was sort a slur on them they couldn't finance their families. It is a full time job, I can tell you, and I sometimes wonder how these young women manage. Of course they have equipment which I have in my kitchen now. but sometimes it takes as much time to do it {things with the new equipment] as it did to do it without the equipment.

RVW: Well, when he died this must have made a really big, sharp break in your life?

FLS: It really did. It just completely changed it and it meant some decisions [about] whether I would go back and get some further physical ed training, and be a teacher, or pick up this thing I had liked very much , my library work which rather intrigued me. This was ten years and my certificate for teaching was good for ten years and it had to be renewed, so I had to do something. So that first summer ... Well, the first year -- Don died in the fall in August, late summer -- I was clerk in a school in Jacksonville, which was not what I wanted to continue doing. To get into teaching school I would have to bring my certificate up [to date] and have it renewed, so I went to Florida State College for Women for the summer to bring my physical ed up to date, and to my sorrow, found that in the ten years while I had been out of contact with education, the whole philosophy of physical education had changed. I was taught the strict Swedish and German gymnastics regimen -- rows of students turning right and turning left and marching forward and things like that and commands. It had changed from that to activities. Sports: different groups doing different things. The head of the physical ed [department] at the college at Florida State said it would take at least two years for me to bring my training up to date for certification and I didn't have two years. So right quickly I picked up my undergraduate majors with an emphasis on social studies and got enough credits so that I qualified to teach social studies, rather than physical education. Florida had a twelve month school system when I went to high school and I graduated [1921] from twelve years of school with my Duval High School diploma . I went to Winthrop College, and South Carolina had a ten year program with big cities like Columbia, Spartanburg, Charleston, Greenville -- and I don't who else with an eleven year school system. So when I got to Winthrop the courses I was supposed to take in the Freshman year were courses I had had. I had solid geometry, that was a freshman course; in fact, I had [had] trigonometry. In English, I had advanced things, French and History, I already had the things that were given, so I was allowed to take what they called make-up exams -- students that had failed or had conditions were allowed to come back early and take exams. I took some then and some later on at the beginning of each semester, and was able to pass off those courses. I got credit for the subject but not credit for the points. When I got through taking all the exams that I felt I could take and pass, I had enough credits to make up a years work. Today I would have gone in as a mixed up student and finished in three years. Back in those days it took four years to finish college. The benefit I had was while I had to stay there four years and I loved it -- I was very happy there -- I had extra credits and I could take electives. So I finished Winthrop and I'm sure, I'm the only graduate who finished the physical education program with a A.B. Degree (it normally led to B.S. because it emphasized biology and sciences, things like that) but [when] I got through I had major in English, major in History and almost a major in Social Studies, plus, of course, my physical ed and major in biology that went with that. So, I could pick up those things and build on them. It also meant that when I when to library school I was not penalized, library schools are kind of sticky; they don't think much of music, physical ed, home economics, typing, things like that. They love for you to have all that, but those are not academic. You probably know about this. Several of my friends [in library school] that went to the physical ed program had to go to summer school and make up courses. But because of these extra courses I had, I didn't have to. Course I had been about two years more than most of the students, so that's when I picked them up.

Tape 1 Side 2

FLS: I was employed to teach social studies in a central city junior college there in Jacksonville. And being the newest teacher I got the worse home room, of course; great big lumbering boys and girls bigger than I was. I'm not a very good disciplinarian and I wasn't particularly happy, I hit upon something one time though that gave me a wonderful reputation. It's a good thing I didn't stay long because I would have lost it. Not my reputation but my job or both. We were one of those families (there are hundreds of us) who took the National Geographic and we had them stacked up in the one of the closets, so I took them to school one day, a copy for every student in my class, and I distributed them. Told them to look through which ever copy they had and pick out some picture that interested them, look at it and write me a sentence -- I think I [actually] said paragraph since it was toward the end of the summer -- about this picture, whether it was different [or if] it was new. They got interested in the magazines of course and the principal came in. She was a hard boiled woman. She had to be to run that school because it was right down in the center of the city and here was this class of ... I don't know, thirty-five students -- every one of them. Listening quietly you could have heard the proverbial pin drop. I impressed her mightily; mercy! I was thankful that she came then instead of some other time. Anyhow, I realized I did not want to spend the rest of my life teaching. So I had the chance, I had talked with a friend (a Winthrop friend) who was in the library at Tallahassee that summer and she had praised her work, loved it -- this, that, and the other -- so I had written to Emory as being the nearest school with a library department (library training) and I filled out that form and was admitted. After talking with my mother (my father had died in the meantime -- about six weeks after my husband -- and his mother had died) ... Our whole family -- the three families -- just were divided, and it meant that my mother would have to take care of my seven year old child. My mother was executive secretary of the YWCA so she had a job, but Barbara by this time was in first grade or second -- should have been the second -- I guess she wasn't but six years old ... Anyhow, mother made arrangements, for somebody we knew who lived near the school who could take care of Barbara in the afternoon. Barbara went over to her house and mother had her the other time. So mother kept Barbara. And I went to Emory for one year. I was gone one year.

RVW: You had taught one full year?

FLS: I was what?

RVW: You had taught one full year?

FLS: No. No. I didn't teach but two weeks.

RVW: Oh! Two weeks.

FLS: Yes, I went right to the ... I went down and talked with the principal, the superintendent; this was in 35, the Depression was over but there were still a great many people who didn't have work. There was a new school being built, new high school, and I talked to him, I knew him. Fortunately, I knew a lot of people in Jacksonville; it helps. He said they needed librarians because this was a new field. School library work was really rather new then. He could get teachers a dime a dozen; he didn't say quite that, but, that's what he meant. He had no trouble getting teachers. But he would like for me to go on and train to be a librarian; in fact sort of promised me the [job], at least I would be considered for the staffing of the new school. So it was with his real blessing, rather than disapproval but I'm sure my principal was very sorry to lose me. She doesn't know how fortunate she was. But that was it; so, no, I did not teach again except I had to make out grades for those two weeks, I had to get everything together; it was just about two weeks time that I had to get to Atlanta and make living arrangements. There were no dormitories. Because, of course, Atlanta was a man's ... I mean Emory was a man's university. It did admit women as prospective librarians and as prospective nurses. There was a fine medical department at Emory and part of that was the nursing program. So the nurses and the librarians ... Now the nurses were taken care of because of their schedules; they had dormitory arrangements, but we did not. We had to make arrangement in homes around Emory, and, fortunately there were a number of nice homes on the periphery across the street from Emory. So I was there. I had an aunt who lived in Atlanta and if my lessons were all up I was free for the weekend I could go off campus and get out of the academic atmosphere and spend a weekend with her, which was very nice.

RVW: Your daughter was back with your mother in Jacksonville?

FLS: Yes, yes. I had looked for places, I looked for arrangements I might be able to make. Her school was some distance and the inconvenience; I had no car at that time, and the buses didn't go everywhere you needed them, and the inconvenience and a strain of having her; it just seemed that this arrangement we made in Jacksonville, temporary arrangement, could be made permanent for that year and we did.

RVW: You were there one full year?

FLS: Yes, well, nine months.

RVW: And your intention was to become a school librarian?

FLS: Yes, that was my idea. In fact, I had when I graduated from Emory with my degree, I went back to the superintendent and filled out application forms. Of course and I even went to see the members of the school board; that seemed to have been the practice in those days. I don't think its done today; it's kind of frowned on I think. I think I knew most of them. It was one of those things. Anyhow, I had been to see them, I had talked to them, and, yes, they were delighted. That was fine, I had gotten my degree but, nobody had given me a contract and I had not signed a contract. It was all talking. So it came time -- this was early in the summer -- my mother had a vacation and we didn't know what to do. My mother and I both drove (she had her car); I had sold mine when I left. We had never been on a trip, either one of us, without either my father or Don; you just didn't do things like that in those days; I mean you just didn't go places without a man. They always mapped out the plans and itinerary and studied maps. My mother and I could read maps; we often acted as navigator and things like that but this was what the man did. So when it came to what we were going to do for mother's vacation (I was living in her house because Don and I had only a rented apartment, she had a convenient house, comfortable) we could have stayed there or we could have gone down to the beach and enjoyed the beach for the day. But we were kind of tempted by the fact that an aunt was in New York City, she had come up from one of the branches of our family that had been missionaries in Brazil and she was home visiting and we wanted to see her; so mother and I looked at each other and had to decide whether we would rock on the porch the rest of our lives, or go places and do things. And really, you can't imagine what a decision this thing was; here she was in her fifties, she was an old lady because in those days that was really old. And here I was in my thirties (I guess about 35, maybe not, maybe 2 or 3). Anyhow, I was a young woman and here was this little six or seven year old child, Southern and protected all of our lives. So we decided we'd try it; we'd take a trip, and we did. And it was so successful. It was just wonderful. We found we could go anywhere we wanted to; men were very nice, but they weren't that necessary. It was really quite disillusioning. But, it freed us. Actually it did. We came all the way up here to New York City, and Mr. Spain, of course, was still in Jacksonville; he was still working, I guess. He had our address. We were staying in a YWCA hostel way down on 12th Street, right almost across the street from one of the branches that, many years later, I used to go down and check. It was kind of interesting to think back. Anyhow, when we arrived we were given stacks of mail, all kinds, we'd been gone about ten days I guess. Because we stopped, we visited all the way coming up; we didn't hurry. We took our time, we stopped before it got dark, things like that, and you didn't travel as fast in those days anyhow; the roads weren't as good. We were seeing things. So we had lots of mail, and Mother went to her room, and I went to the room Barbara and I had. We began to open the mail and here was a letter, a long letter from Mr. Spain with some other things in it. One of them was a telegram, and he had written on the front of the telegram "I send this along to you, I just thought you might be interested." Thought it might interest you, something like that. It was an offer from Dr. Phelps, the President of Winthrop College, saying that they were starting a library science training department for school librarians. I had been recommended from Emory and would I be interested in it? Of course it was dated a week before. I flew into Mother and I said look at this. I was overcome by it, but Mr. Spain, so sure I was going to take that school library job and stay in Jacksonsville and take care of him and my mother. He just sent it along because he thought I'd be interested.

Of course, this was an offer to go on the college faculty. I had no idea what the salary for the Jacksonsville job would have been, because I never got a contract. We never got to talking finances. But it wasn't very much and this was $1700. Now that was, remember this was '36, summer of '36, that was a good salary; also the prestige of being at a college. But it did mean leaving Mother and Mr. Spain. I would take Barbara with me, that I was sure. After that one year I wanted her and also it wasn't`t fair to her or to my mother particularly. So, the only thing I could do was that evening I called Dr. Phelps. I told him why I had not answered his telegram. He had not filled the position and if I didn't mind leaving he would like for me to come down the next day for an interview, because I was interested. So, I got on the train, at the college's expense, he did tell me. I got on the train the next morning ... that night ... how did I do this? I guess it was the next day. Anyhow, the next night I -- at a reasonable time -- I took the train, and the chauffeur of the college car had worked at the college when I was there (this was now some twelve years before) but I had been visible at the college and so he remembered me. He got out the annual of my year and he stepped right up and spoke to me and took me down to Rock Hill, I had to go get -- he met me in Charlotte, NC. I had a very nice interview, Dr. Kinard was there. Of course I had known Dr. Kinard from when I was in college. In the meantime, Dr. Johnston had died and Dr. Kinard had been president for four years, and then Dr. Phelps had come in. Because Dr. Kinard knew me, he was in on the interview. I went back to New York with a job in my hands, which was very exciting. Then I had to make my peace, of course, with the Jacksonville people, which I managed to do. Then with my families, my Spain family was not, as I thought, happy about me leaving. They were more conservative, and, of course, it did mean that Mr. Spain (my mother was also there by herself) he was there by himself. He ... his son, was living then (his other son, he had two sons). He, finally, had a stroke and went to live briefly with his son Frank and Florence, his wife at that time. Then he went up to South Carolina with a sister and lived there the rest of his life; back in his old home where he was in the middle of family and was very happy up there. But it seemed to me that a position that I might have in a college would afford a better kind of care that I could give both my mother and Mr. Spain than if I worked in a high school with lower salaries.

RVW: The Jacksonsville folks had not given you any money to go to Emory or anything?

FLS: Oh! No! There was absolutely nothing, there was no contract, there was no "Will you take the job?" and no answer from me "yes." It was the kind of thing, they were interested, they had this job, they ... I was interested in it; of course, I was interested in it. I had no idea I'd have a chance at a job like Winthrop. It was a perfectly honorable situation, but it did surprise Mr. Spain, who just took for granted that I was coming back. I don't ... I guess he had read the telegram -- he must have; yes, because he knew what was in it. He sent it on for my interest. It really did -- it was a turning point, and it was such a little thread. He could have so easily have kept it, knowing what it was, and showed it to me when I got back.

RVW: Did you ever find out how the folks at Winthrop knew you had gone to Emory and had gotten a degree?

FLS: Emory did recommend me, they, I suppose, circularized library students. There weren't very many then. There was Emory and there was Peabody; Florida hadn't started.

RVW: That's about it.

FLS: That really is [it in] the South. Chapel Hill.

RVW: I believe Chapel Hill was going on then.

FLS: I guess it was; I don't know why ... Yes, Miss Akers, I guess. Yes, Emory and Chapel Hill and Peabody were the three that were relatively close and I suppose the fact that I was a Winthrop graduate had something to do with Emory's sending me. I don't remember that I did anything special at Emory that might have made them them think I was interested in school library work. Training in those days was very general. It let you go into almost anything you wanted to, either with on the job training or some other special training. I don't ... we did some work in different kinds of libraries ... I really don't know why unless it was some reason, I was -- well I wasn't really -- more mature than most of the other students. Nearly all of the Emory students, in those years, were well out of college, I may have been the oldest one; no, I'm sure I wasn't. There were several of them married; there were some who had been in libraries for quite sometime and wanted the professional training. I assumed that Winthrop had circularized library schools and maybe been turned down by some others who had been recommended. Finally got to me; I don't know. They did wait until they heard from that telegram which sort of surprised me that I think it was almost a week late that I got it.

RVW: Say that more about the year at Emory. You said you did some practical work, internship work, in libraries? Do you recall much who was on the faculty then and what you studied?

FLS: Yes, Let me see. Miss [Tommie Dora] Barker, who had been the librarian -- been the director -- was on leave. She did that study of library resources in the South, so she was busy doing that. Then I guess she went on to ... where did she go? Anyhow, she was not there. Miss [Lydia Marian] Gooding, I think, took her place. She was there just that [Clyde Elaine] Pettus, was doing cataloging. There was a Mrs. [Evelyn Steel] Little who did book selection. I think Miss Pettis was local or had been there a long time. Miss Gooding, I don't really know her background; she later came up to Columbia and I don't know whether she was on the faculty ... possibly, but I associate her with Columbia. I saw her once or twice when I worked in NYPL. Mrs. Little was from California. I think her degree was from Mills and she was in the middle of getting her doctor's degree from Michigan, but not the library school, she was [teaching] book selection, so she was getting hers ... in degree then. I don't - I don't think so ...

RVW: Chicago gets started in about '31 or something like that, but that would have been the only one.

FLS: Well, maybe Michigan too; I'm not sure. It was a literary subject she had chosen, a comparison of books or something like that. We were terribly excited about it, of course; this was ... she would bring back reports of what was happening. She really, I guess, stimulated us more than anybody else. I think she gave me a feeling to go on and get mine when I had a chance. I remember how on pins and needles we were when she went for her exams. It was wonderful when she passed her orals and all, which usually you do when you get that far. She came back and we at once began calling her doctor and she liked it very much because she was the only one on the faculty with a doctor's degree. Now, there was a Miss Charlotte [Templeton]; she did special libraries it seems to me. She was actually at that time working out at Atlanta University. She was white, but she was working out there. I think she had come from Greenville, SC; I'm not sure. She was combining ... Atlanta University was developing a university library ... and was combining the libraries of Clark and Morehouse and Spellman, putting them together into Atlanta University Library. That was her job and she would come out to Emory and teach. Somebody from the Atlanta Public Library came out and taught children's work. I can't think who taught school library work, because Sarah Jones and Virginia McJenkins, the school library supervisors of Georgia and Fulton County, were not yet in their positions, but I can't think who did that. We had one class in library, a semester of school libraries, a semester of special libraries. Now, I know we visited a library of each kind; how much we actually worked in them -- whether we worked an afternoon or something like that I just don't remember. I did for my study -- this was at the time, that Douglas Waples had done "Who reads?" No, was it Waples, who did who reads what? That was Waples wasn't it? We were all analyzing our public and things like that. I took the questionnaire that had been given to somebody -- maybe the Chicago Public Library or a branch or two -- and with Miss Templeton's blessing and help and couple of the teachers, took it out to Atlanta University. I don't remember whether which of the colleges it was; seems to me I worked with girls; Spellman was for women, wasn't it? I took it out there and gave it to the students out there and then tried in my feeble way to draw some kind of relationship or general interest things of that kind to see if how widespread the interests were or if I could pick out any special interests that southern people had, or the black people had, or anything like that. I went out to Atlanta University, I guess it was the Spring term we had to do that. Went out frequently to see the classes of students and to see Miss Templeton. She ... I think she found, had a very hard job, but a very interesting one, and found cooperation with the students, probably more so than if it had been the other way around. Oh, we had a wonderful experience at Emory. The ALA met in Richmond, the last meeting in the South for 20 years. That was the famous meeting when the Council took voted not meet in the South, not to meet anywhere that all members of the ALA could not share sleeping and eating arrangements. So that was a landmark meeting. (Then the next landmark was when that was broken, was down in Miami, Miami Beach, many years later, about 20, I think it was.) As close as we were, Richmond to Emory, the Emory faculty invited the whole faculty of the University of Chicago Graduate Library School to come to Emory, to talk to us, to lecture to us, to visit with us. We were using their books of course, all those things. So Louis Wilson came, Waples came, I don't believe [Pierce] Butler came, [Carlton] Joeckle came.

RVW: This was the summer of '36?

FLS: This was the Spring, this was early enough in '36; it was following that meeting, it was almost at the end of that school year.

RVW: You were not at that meeting in Richmond?

FLS: No. I think one of our students went. We were given the chance to go. I was there on very short funds, because I had no income, and I was using some insurance I had gotten from Don. He didn't have much; it was group insurance from the bank and it covered, I think, $500. (I used the other, I had $1000 and the other $500 we did something else with.) I took that and I went to Emory for a whole nine months and paid tuition and board and room for that. But I didn't have much left over so I couldn't go; I didn't think I could afford it. I've always been sorry because that really must have been a meeting. These men came and it was very good to have them. We had been reading their books and trying to puzzle out what they meant by some of the things that were there. They talked with us, and then informally. They were there, I think a whole day. That was one of the highlights of Emory.

RVW: Were you using The Introduction to Library Science at that time? This was first published in '32, I believe; that's Pierce Butler's Book.

FLS: I guess so.

RVW: And certainly Waple's you said?

FLS: Yes, and The Geography of Reading. We were using all of them. Yes, Butler, I'm sure we were using his book because that was my introduction to him. I later did my dissertation under him.

RVW: Yes, I want to talk about that a little bit later. They spoke to the faculty and to the student then?

FLS: Yes. Yes. They were joint instead of just class by class. Well, we moved almost class by class, I believe the cataloging class was cut in half. We had a good, big class, it just far enough -- the Depression was beginning to break -- and there were enough of us, so it was the biggest class they had had for some time. There must have been 30 of us, but we met as a group and the faculty were there, too, and it seems to me ... I shouldn't say other librarians were invited then; I'm sure more would have come than were there so I guess it was the faculty and the students. It was very nice.

RVW: It must have been an interesting meeting?

FLS: [Response inaudible due to the clock chimes] And then I went on to Winthrop as soon as that summer was over.

RVW: Let's talk about the Winthrop years: do you know how the program -- the idea for a training program -- came into being? And you were offered the job in the summer of '36. Obviously some discussion had taken place prior to this. Was it funded by some outside group or what?

FLS: I don't really know the details. There was a general feeling in the South, in education in the South, that there should be something done for schools and school libraries. There was a Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges (which you probably know about; probably the same thing but has a different name now maybe). There was a very outspoken, forceful man from North Carolina, Dr. J. Henry Highsmith, who was the Department of ... the Superintendent of Public instruction, (I think that was the term they used); he was the chairman of the library committee of the Southern Association. He was very much for libraries, so there was a feeling in the state for libraries. Now, Miss [Tommie Dora] Barker's book had just come out, showing what we had and what we didn't have. Some few states were appointing school library supervisors for their states -- your records will tell you which ones they were, I can't give them right now. There weren't very many.

RVW: Your article discusses that.

FLS: Does it? I knew at one time. There was a general feeling and I can't tell you whether it was an upswelling of educational thought or how it really was or who was behind it. There was this feeling that schools needed improvement and one of the ways to improve the school was to have a good library. South Carolina did not have a school library supervisor. It had some school libraries -- I think not very good ones -- but there must have been enough pressure so that the college -- whose main purpose was to train the personnel for the schools of South Carolina -- must have felt that it should do something about the libraries. I really ... I don't know anybody on the campus who was doing this. We had a very good librarian, Ida J. Dacus. She had been there since the beginning or very soon thereafter. She had had a course at Drexel, and was the nearest to a trained librarian in those days. I don't associate her particularly with the starting of the library training program at Winthrop. In fact, I don't know who did it. I talked with the dean ... Dr. Kinard was interested, of course; Dr. Phelps was. Dr. Phelps had come from Peabody. I don't what his position was, maybe he was Dean; I just don't know. He was interested in libraries, and of course Peabody had a library school so he would have that in his thinking. There was enough so that when Winthrop evidently decided it should have a department and was ready to support the department ... I look back now and think a little learning is a dangerous thing. I thought I knew everything about library schools. The Emory library school had a desk for each student and each student sat at that desk, so I wanted a desk for each student up there in the library science department. They, Winthrop, provided that. It was fine, it was good, but it was not necessary. I look back now, but there were good [things] about that. They did give me some equipment; they let me select books that I could use for cataloging. I tried to get different kinds of title pages -- subject matter -- so we'd have book selection. We used a good many of the books in the college library for reference work. The school did support it very nicely, and this was good. I cannot tell you really who was behind it or what was behind it other than this general feeling throughout that area that we needed libraries in our schools. Dr. Highsmith, I'm sure, was very instrumental in the total Southern interest.

RVW: So you began this in the Fall of '36 and you were the first director?

FLS: In the Fall of '36.

RVW: How many students did you get?

FLS: I think I had eleven ... and that was another thing; they let me start it with a small group knowing that it was new. It was announced. (Winthrop's program -- academic program -- was relatively tight, so you didn't have -- a student didn't have -- much leeway for extra courses.) I think it doubled the next term. I guess we were having two terms in those days and then we announced that there would be a summer school. We gave three courses in summer school. We had to have another teacher, our enrollment was so great that I couldn't handle that crowd. So, quickly ... the member of the library staff who did reference gave up her plans to go to library school and get a Master's degree (postponed it) and came back to Winthrop and taught for that summer. So we very quickly got into a reasonable number, and though we never had big classes, we did have reasonably sized classes. Attracted on the whole very good students; they were some of the top students in the classes. I believe we limited it to juniors and seniors.

RVW: They were doing this as a major?

FLS: They really ... Yes, I guess they could get six courses, which would constitute a major. It was usually a major along with something else, because most of them anticipated being teacher/librarians. A few of them went into full time library work but most of them were teacher/librarians, so they had to have a good strong academic major. They had to have their education course requirements that the state set up, plus what they could get for libraries. I went in that first year as librarian of the training school, and we used it as the practice field. Winthrop in those days, they had cadet teaching or practice work, whatever you want to call it. The school librarians had to get some practice in the school library.

RVW: Now, when you say went in as Librarian of the Training School, you mean for the School of Education?

FLS: No. No. Winthrop College, up until very recently (10 years maybe; recent to me) Winthrop College conducted a full kindergarten through first 10 grades and then slowly, while I was there, went to 11th grade, I presume now that there are 12. The full gamut of classes, accredited by the state of South Carolina as a public school -- it was a public school, part of the Rock Hill school system, as was Rock Hill High School. Of course, they and WTS were dead rivals in football and other things. So it [the position as librarian of the Training School] was of that school. The teachers who taught each grade were on the faculty of the education department, but there were other members of that faculty who did the methods courses, history of education, whatever else they had. It was controlled by the College, and I wasn't under the Education Department.

RVW: So you were the librarian of the training school?

FLS: Yes, yes.

RVW: And also teaching the library student courses?

FLS: Because at first they didn't have but two classes, and I was supposed to work that in. When I was gone, some teacher I believe, took the library, which was what they had been doing in the past.

(Telephone ringing, FLS: excuses self, RVW: suggests taking a break.)

Begin Tape 2

RVW: This is tape 2 continuing with Mrs. Spain. You were discussing the training school: You were the librarian at the Training School and you also taught two courses the first semester, you said.

FLS: I think we started with two. The details of this are not very clear, and then we added. The students didn't have time to take many courses so you took ... so I offered what they could take and then the next term offered something else. I tried to cover the basic courses that you would take in library school. I simply tried ... I used Susan Aker's Simple Library Cataloging and other -- mercy I can't think of whose school library management ... I used the standard textbooks that we had had at Emory. I did not use the ones the University of Chicago faculty had written but the simpler ones that we had used and tried to give them something that would help if they were developing a school library and also having to teach, which is a very difficult job -- one I actually do not approve of -- but it was a first step in getting libraries into schools. It usually meant that you had to do full time work teaching and full time work being a librarian -- which was the end of it.

RVW: And you taught all the courses except for ... ?

FLS: At first I did, yes. Then I couldn't when I had more courses and more students than would allow me to spend a good deal of time at the Training School. We got a Training School librarian, who would teach a course. Then, for a while -- and I can't tell you how many years this was -- records at Winthrop would tell you -- we had two teachers. We had enough students and offering the full number of courses; so I, for a number of years, four or five I guess, I had an assistant. Sarah Wells was assistant at one time. Louise Howe was the librarian at the Training School who did the practice teaching, the supervised library work, which was one of the courses just as it was for the teachers who were doing their teaching at the Training School. Nancy Jane Day was a teacher for several years, I believe they are the three; oh, Sarah Long Cannerly taught a course or two for us. She's now out -- well, she's now retired but worked; she went to Texas Library School out there. But I did have assistants who did. Then, of course, very quickly, well not very quickly but in about '46, ten years later, I became the Librarian of Winthrop College.

RVW: I want to talk about that a little bit later.

FLS: Yes and at the same time was the head of the library school. In the meantime I had gotten my doctor's degree, which gave me more status on the faculty. It was after I had become the librarian, of course, that we did have to have two full time teachers. Now the details of this are skimpy in my mind.

RVW: How would you describe school library development in South Carolina in 1936 and library development in general? You said that school libraries were just really beginning in the state at that time?

FLS: Actually, I do not know a great deal about them. There were school librarians; there was a division of school librarians in the South Carolina Education Association and the I think the South Carolina Library Association had a section for school librarians. There were enough so that they made a body. It was not -- the state was not -- covered by school librarians and I think they varied in support -- local support -- they varied in training and ability of the school librarians. I really can't give you even a fair evaluation of the school library situation in the state. I saw as many as I could. It was not actually my job to visit the school libraries, as it was I should have known as much as I could about the school library situation, but I did not take it as a responsibility to estimate or to visit the school libraries. When I could, I always went to see them and was delighted when I could find a good school library.

RVW: Some of the students in your program must have gone on into other kinds of libraries also, public libraries -

FLS: I'm sure they did. One of them I know went into a private school, though we emphasized simplification, which is what we use as a keynote of the school library work. The relation of the library to education, one of the courses we worked on that, trying to show the relationship of teaching to library work and how the library fit the school, individual teachers and individual classes and the school as a whole. The emphasis of all of our work was on school libraries, but, the work was general enough so that a student graduating from some of the classes could feel at home at least in a public library. I don't know any of them who went to a college library. I am sure I know that some of them went on to other library schools and that always pleased me. I frequently wrote letters for students who were applying to library schools. Most of them went either to Chapel Hill or Peabody. Peabody, particularly, because it was the one that you thought of, at least, as being school library oriented.

RVW: You mentioned Miss Nancy Jane Day.

FLS: Yes.

RVW: You hired her to help you teach?

FLS: She was on our faculty for several years, I can't tell you how many. She taught, I guess when I became Librarian. I don't remember the dates in there. She had taught on our faculty and then had taken leave to go to Michigan and get a master's degree, and then went to Emory and was on the Emory Library School faculty until she went to get back to South Carolina to be school library supervisor. Those dates are recorded somewhere but I can't give them to you, you can check or have you talked with her?

RVW: No, we hope to.

FLS: Yes.

***Edited Omission***

RVW: That's ok. Now from '41 when you came back full time to Winthrop, to '45 you were still teaching library science courses?

FLS: Yes.

RVW: In '45 you became director of the library.

FLS: Yes, Miss Dacus retired and my friend Gladys Smith should have been the librarian because she was next in line, but of course, here I had come in the meantime and gotten a doctor's degree. I suppose they, I don't know, felt somebody with a doctor's degree should have it. I was appointed. I reorganized the library. There had just been the librarian and the staff, and I reorganized it so we had heads of departments. Gladys was the reference librarian, head of that, which gave her a title and distinction. We worked together very well, and it did not ruin our friendship. I was scared it was going to, it might have done that but it didn't. It was hard, but in such a short time, you know I get dates mixed up. I went to California.

RVW: From '41 to '45 you kept teaching the courses.

FLS: Yes, that's right. Then I became the librarian. It was '45 to '49.

RVW: '48, I think.

FLS: '48, all right. Your records are more accurate than mine. (laughter)

RVW: How would you describe the library at the time you became director? This is when Miss Dacus has now retired and so you reorganized the library?

FLS: Well, I reorganized the staff. There had been very little distinction between members of the staff and this was done particularly, I talked to the president about this because I was embarrassed about becoming the librarian when Gladys had been there for a long time and was so very good.

RVW: This was Gladys Smith?

FLS: Smith, yes.

RVW: And she'd been there longer than you had?

FLS: Oh, yes. She had been there, I really don't know how long, but quite a long time.

RVW: Well you had been science librarian for a little while, as I recall.

FLS: No. How do you get that? I was teaching library science, is that mixed up?

RVW: No, I have someplace that were you were science librarian, but that may not be. Yes, it says returned to Winthrop as the science librarian, but that not right?

FLS: No, who said that?

RVW: It's in this National Encyclopedia article, which I thought you had written. I don't know who wrote this.

FLS: No, I don't know anything about that. National Encyclopedia, I know their publications. My grandfather was in that, too. You know people got library science and science mixed up.

RVW: That's right, I think that must be what the case is, so that's really not right. You continued teaching the whole time from '41 to '45.

FLS: Yes, I stayed on as that. Then, was still the head of the library science department, that's probably where this is mixed up. Because my science background is limited, is mostly biology and what I got with the physical education major. I just kind of gave distinctions. There was a cataloger, there was a book selection person, and there was a reference librarian; more to make distinctions and prestige for people, give them a title in the library. Mrs. Dacus had developed a very good library. She was -- in the early days when I was there as a student -- she did a good deal of censorship, in that she wasn't always sure you should read some of the books that maybe you wanted to read, things like that. She had developed a very good library: in reference and in South Carolina material and in literature. I think it had the standard works and very many other things. She was very definite in her ideas about the library and in marking of the books she put a white band. Now, I know people use labels on books sometimes, but she enameled a white band in a certain place and it had to be exactly in that right place, a number of inches from the bottom and equal number of inches wide, or a part of an inch. Then she had the lettering, they used the old Dewey system, had the lettering in black. So you had rows of books with white bands and were absolutely straight because if you didn't do it they weren't straight. But she had developed a very good library; it really, really was good, fairly extensive. All I did really was to carry it on. We tried to loosen it up a little bit; she had been rather strict in her management. We had book lectures, book talks in the reference room on Sunday afternoons, introduced things like that, some more services. But she had really done her basic collection, and I just tried to carry on what she had done. There is, of course, a very handsome new library there now. But the old one is used for art, I believe, exhibits and classes now. But the new library, Joanna Hara built it and it was very nice.

RVW: Do you recall any other particular successes, problems that you had while you were librarian at Winthrop?

FLS: No.

RVW: Any problems with funding?

FLS: No, the college budget was about the standard 5% but I never thought we had enough money. When you worked it out it came to that. They were, well you had to buy through the manager,which I suppose, is standard in a great many places. I always felt that we had support from the administration, our staff was adequate, we had student assistants, really standard college library procedures. I was going to say at one time they got the magazine subscriptions just the nine school months of the year; that again was strictly standard in high school purchasing, but we had to stop that. There was always a problem of things disappearing and books being mutilated, but not a great deal of that. The library was used a good deal, by some teachers more than others. Winthrop, while I was there still had closed study periods, which meant students had to have passes to come to the library and we had to check them in and check them out. That's all been done away with long ago.

RVW: So Winthrop, the library, was created more as high school library?

FLS: Well, it was as far as that was concerned.

RVW: You had to have a permission to come to the library?

FLS: This was when you had closed study period. The periods when you'd ... now you don't even know what that is. That's during a period in the evening, usually a half an hour after supper you were allowed to walk out on the campus, and then you went to your room, a bell rang. You went to your room, and for another period, usually two hours, two hours and a half, you studied. Nobody came to your room and you didn't go to anybody's room unless you got special permission, usually from, in those days the matron, the house manager, whatever you call it. Or you could go to the library or the music students could go to the music hall to practice. You just had permission, a slip or something to do that.

RVW: What about during the day?

FLS: Well, during the day you were free. You didn't have to have permission (laughter) no, you were free, when you weren't in classes you were free to go where you wanted to. That was the traditional old way, Winthrop had a uniform, you may know that. There were rather strict rules of behavior, had dates on Sunday afternoon, and maybe Saturday and Friday nights. I was not a South Carolina girl and I didn't know any South Carolina boys so I never had dates, but I believe it was Saturday and Sunday afternoon you could have dates in the parlors, or there were certain other places. I think there certain places in front of each dormitory, maybe you sit on the campus. It was under very strict control. But that was in keeping with the behavior pattern of families and the responsibility that the college felt towards its students, and I think Winthrop was, maybe longer this way, but it was no worse than most of the other woman's colleges, particularly in the South.

RVW: I went to one of those kinds of colleges in the '50s. It was church related. The women were treated that way, but the men were free.

FLS: Yes, yes, you were free probably.

RVW: That's right. (laughter)

FLS: Well, of course, we didn't have the problem at Winthrop then, and the co-ed as it is now, its just not a problem to me. But it was considered a problem then.

RVW: Let's talk a little about these twelve years that you were in South Carolina, '36 to '48, you did a variety of things with state and regional associations. I have down that you were chair of the school library section of SCLA from '41 to '45, vice president in '46 and president of SCLA in '47. Again let's go back and talk about library development and such, particularly your work with the associations. How would you describe the state of SCLA during the period of time that you were involved in it? Was it an active group, doing good things?

FLS: Yes, it was active, I guess. I can't think right now of anything we did, other than hold a meeting. We did have an annual conference, which was quite well attended and it had sections from schools, college and public libraries.

RVW: One of the really big things going on then was the development of the public library system. Were you involved with that?

FLS: No, almost none. I'm sure some of our students went into that, but that really came along a little bit later, I think.

RVW: The library commission gets set up in the late '30s, I've forgotten exactly when.

FLS: I had nothing to do with it. The emphasis of my work was with the schools under the superintendent of education.

RVW: You worked with Miss Day in doing that?

FLS: Yes, now as I said earlier somewhere, very few of the southern states had school library supervisors; some of them did. But there was this general movement of interest in school libraries. In fact, J. Henry Harrison was interested. I think North Carolina was one of the states that did have [a school library supervisor]. Mary Peacock Douglas was one up there; Sarah Jones in Georgia; Martha Park in Tennessee; Sarah Cranston was halfway and halfway something else in Florida; there was a man in Virginia. Anyhow, the General Education Board was interested in development of school libraries -- and I don't know the details on this -- but made a proposition in a way to the southern states that it would help them start school library supervisors. I knew that was a possibility. There was superintendent of education, his name was Dr. Hope, I think.

RVW: In South Carolina?

FLS: Yes, in South Carolina and we were eager to have a school library supervisor. Let me go back a little and say the Southern Association through this Dr. Highsmith and support from the General Education Board, sponsored and financed a series of three annual meetings where teachers in library schools, state education people, school library supervisors, whether they were, state or city -- some of the big cities had them like Atlanta -- people concerned with the training of school librarians and performing as school librarians got together. I had been a part of that as teaching at Winthrop, I had always gone to those meetings. Then I was a member of their school library committee for a number of years. Dr. Highsmith had asked me to join his committee. So, I knew that there were funds available, and I went to Columbia and talked to Dr. Hope The actual arrangement was that the first year the General Education Board would finance the supervisor, pay the salary. I don't think it went beyond that; I don't think it paid for office space, or secretarial work, or travel. But at least there was a salary. Then the next year they would pay -- I think maybe this was a three year thing -- they would pay a part of it, the state would pick up the rest, then next year they would pay a small part, and the state would pick up, then the next year the state would pick it all up. It may have been just a three year program, anyhow it was a gradual thing. I went down and talked to Dr. Hope, because we felt so definite that there was a need for somebody to do something throughout the state. I was not doing it, I was not supposed to do it, I didn't have time to do it and yet it was needed and we were training the school librarians, but nobody to help them when they got out on the job, which was a bad thing, and I just couldn't do both of them. Dr. Hope was interested and said he would consider it and sure enough, he did. I suggested Nancy Day, who had taught with us, who was a South Carolinian, who knew the state fairly well.

RVW: What year was this now?

FLS: It was just before I went somewhere. I guess it was in '48, because I went to California in '49. Nancy was at Emory, is that anywhere in there at all that you can see. I doubt if it's in there.

RVW: No, I just have that you were on the Southern Association Library Committee --

FLS: For quite a while.

RVW: Well, we'll have that for when Miss Day began, so we'll find that out.

FLS: All right. I was on my way, oh, I was leaving my position, but at that particular moment I was on my way to Atlanta to a meeting and Nancy was teaching at Emory and he authorized me to talk to Nancy, to ask if she would be interested in being considered for a position if it became available. She was, she said she would like to do that, she'd been at Emory three or four years after she left Winthrop. She liked but she thought she would like this other. It got her back to South Carolina. So, when I returned I reported that to Dr. Hope, and this position did go through and he offered the position to Nancy. She accepted it. That was the beginning of her school library work. Now, I'm not sure when Estellene Walker became the public library supervisor.

RVW: She was secretary to the commission, I believe in the middle '30s so it was getting organized --

FLS: About the same, it's they happened roughly the same time.

RVW: Unless Miss Day's thing was in '48, as you said.

FLS: Well, Estellene wasn't that long? Was she? The middle '30s?

RVW: A good long while, I'm not sure, I'll have to check my dates out to see if I have that down, too?

FLS: Do you have that report she [Estellene Walker] did as she left her position when she retired?

RVW: Yes.

FLS: She sent me a copy of that which is very good. Now, I think Nancy did not do one when she left, I wish she had.

RVW: I don't think so either.

FLS: I presume she made an annual report to Dr. Hope, or whoever was her supervisor. I never saw a report and I think Nancy would have given it to me maybe.

RVW: I'll ask her.

FLS: Yes, because I did not have a great deal to do with Estellene, I can't believe she was there that long, but I guess she was. Your records would show it. Anyhow, she developed the public libraries and Nancy developed the school libraries.

RVW: Estellene was a strong willed person I gather.

FLS: I think she was, yes. We called her Jack, which may or may not mean anything. (laughter) Jack Walker, yes.

RVW: In relation your predominant emphasis was to the school libraries and Miss Walker's was public libraries?

FLS: Yes.

RVW: Now during your term as president [of the South Carolina Library Association] I gather you tried to draw some of these things together because you were working with Mendel Rivers trying to get a TVA demonstration.

FLS: Yes, yes. We went up (my gracious, I'd forgotten). Yes, I was quite shocked when I became president of the South Carolina Library Association and read its constitution -- which I had never bothered to read before -- I'd been a member for some time. It was to develop public libraries in South Carolina, and here were school libraries, here were college libraries, here were special libraries. So I think it was during my administration that we changed that wording of the constitution.

RVW: Oh, is that right?

FLS: Yes, and as far as I know it now says to support or develop, or whatever the word is, libraries, because I was horrified, but that's all you had in those days. Winthrop had a library, the university had the wonderful old South Caroliniana thing, and maybe some more. I guess Wofford perhaps they may have thought of libraries, but weren't many college libraries and the school libraries were practically nil, so the logical thing was that this organization was for public librarians, that they were the ones who put that in, but I got that changed. That's somewhere in the old minutes.

RVW: The Constitution, the by-laws said that it was to develop public libraries?

FLS: Yes, yes. Those were the old, old. I don't know where you'd ever find that, somewhere.

RVW: I think we have it in the archives.

FLS: See if you have it. Look that up and see. But I couldn't believe it! So it's now, I hope, libraries. You see, and I think I'm responsible for that, I don't know. I was kind of surprised about that. I still was doing the school work, because it was the field that I was supposed to be working in. I really never worked with Estellene Walker. I didn't work with Nancy either because by that time I was leaving. I went to California.

RVW: What were you trying to get done with Mendel Rivers and those on the library demonstration project?

FLS: The TVA, of course, was the big thing out there (tape end).

Begin Tape 3

RVW: Continuing interview with Mrs. Spain. We were at the point talking about South Carolina and the TVA Project. How did that turn out at the end?

FLS: Frankly, I don't remember. I know we were all interested in the TVA because it was an example of cooperation across state lines, county lines and all that. It was a central library with branches; it had many features and we took part in it. South Carolina was one of the seven states, I believe, that were involved. I don't know exactly what you mean by "how did it turn out?" I don't know that there was anything special about it; it was one of the kind of patterns of library organizations, and it seemed to have been very satisfactory. I don't know that South Carolina used much (that we learned from there) except that we did, I think, occasionally have a library that served more than one county. I don't remember what they were. Estellene Walker's report can give you information.

RVW: Did you go up personally and talk with Mendel Rivers to get this done, or was it all correspondence?

FLS: The man that I worked with was Marion Milezewski, who I think, organized it, and was wherever it was; was it Knoxville, Tennessee? Now, I don't remember working with Mendel Rivers except I remember him being there in South Carolina, but I do not connect him with anything I did in connection with TVA. But Marion Milezewski I do remember as being somebody we talked with, we worked with. He had meetings, and we all went to those meetings. Dr. [Louis Round] Wilson had some meetings. I remember we nearly died; Dr. Wilson started a meeting at 8:30 in the morning and dismissed you at 5:00 o'clock in the afternoon and you didn't have a break in between. That's most of what I remember about some of those meetings. He worked you hard; he gave you a break every once in a while. I don't know how he was involved in it except I remember that he was. Marion Milezewski was, of course, the librarian there -- the director -- whatever his title was. I can't say much of what we had with Mendel Rivers except to remember him.

RVW: Now, you were doing this as president of SCLA?

FLS: I suppose so, yes. It did not really relate to my school library work, my classes, but as the South Carolina Library Association we were interested and this was part of the program of the SCLA.

RVW: Do you remember much else about your administration as president, and of the years of time you were involved in SCLA?

FLS: I remember that ... No, I remember I was chairman of the school library section of the South Carolina Education Association over a period of four or five years, during which time we did not meet. They were the war years, and we did not meet, so we continued as officers and carried on the boards and various departments and divisions and whatever had to be done was done by correspondence. I don't remember ... you see the South Carolina Library Association was one term; this other [SC Education Association] I was involved in for a number of years.

RVW: Any other kinds of problems about library development in general during these years in South Carolina?

FLS: Yes. We developed school library standards for the state, and we worked, particularly I remember working with a librarian who was at Orangeburg at the colored university.

RVW: South Carolina State.

FLS: Yes, South Carolina State College and I'm ashamed to say I can't remember her name. She was very able, very fine person and left after some time, and I knew her again in Florida when she was over at Florida A & M at Tallahassee. To my embarrassment and shame I cannot recall her name. But she was on the committee and worked very well as we drew up some standards. These were local standards. I don't recall anything else particularly that we did; they were war years and so, I believe the library association met every year. I know the education association did not, or at least whatever we had were little rump kind of meetings. That's not very clear in my mind.

RVW: What about services to blacks during the time that you were in South Carolina? Was this of continuing concern; did it get raised within SCLA; do you recall feelings one way or another about this?

FLS: No, actually I do not, and again I'm thinking of the Education Association more than the library association. There was, of course, the Palmetto Education Association, which was an association for blacks. Now, I mentioned this librarian whose name I'd like to be able to remember, who was brought in when the State Department of Education set up this committee to draw up standards. So the black schools were considered and a black librarian was put on that committee and worked very well. I presume some records were kept and you can find out who she is. I'm ashamed that I can't. I've been trying to think of her name and I couldn't recall it. As I remember it there were not any black members of the South Carolina Library Association except that when we met in Charleston, the librarian, whose name again I can't recall, (this is not a racial thing that I can't recall the other woman's name) brought some of her staff members and they sat at the back of the meeting room, but they were there. Now, I don't remember anywhere else. I presume ... I remember that, because that was the year I was presiding. I think maybe she told me what she was going to do. She didn't ask if she might, she just said she was going to, which was the right thing to do. I don't know whether that happened in other meetings when that had come up. Really when I think one time and I don't whether the black staffs or members of the staff who were black went to those meetings. That definitely happened in Charleston.

RVW: Were there any efforts within the association to change the segregationist policy? All these associations?

FLS: No, not that I recall. As I said earlier, I got worked up over the fact that it was just for public librarians. There was not anything, as I recall, that said it was an organization of white librarians. There might have been; that point I don't remember. It was one of those accepted things, I regret. This was so, this was the culture, this was the pattern, and it was accepted. I did not [protest] myself, and now I'm very sorry I didn't. It was not suggested by anybody else either, the black librarians or other librarians. So it was not brought up; it was just the accepted pattern of South Carolina.

RVW: So despite what happened in ALA, no movement had taken place within SCLA.

FLS: No, I suppose not, it had not filtered down enough.

RVW: In 1948, you made the big break. Left South Carolina, the Southeast, and went out to Southern California.

FLS: Yes.

RVW: Why did you make this big break?

FLS: I really don't know. I really don't know. I was very happy in South Carolina; enjoyed what I was doing and loved the state. Here came a new thing, the salary was a little bit better, this was a big university. Of course, I was to be the associate dean of the library school, which was a better teaching position than to stay head of a department in a college. The undergraduate library training programs were not really accepted by ALA; we did have some standards, which I helped to develop, but ALA rather looked down its nose at it -- at that kind of training. So here was a chance to go to an accredited library school. I must say that the salary was considerably better than the $1700 that I started at Winthrop. And it was a new part of the country, I'd been at Winthrop twelve or thirteen years, my daughter was married, my mother had died, all in reasonably short period of time, six or eight months. I was free, and I just liked the idea, I suppose, and accepted it. One of my friends said I would die -- my roots were in the South -- but I didn't.

***Edited Omission***

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