The Libraries of South Carolina
by Mary Frayser
Page 27
Bulletin 292 page 27
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State School Library Laws Compared

Information from other states concerning school libraries has been sought in order to furnish a basis for comparison between them and South Carolina in the matter of school library provision. The material for the section of this report which deals with the school library provision for the public schools of South Carolina, was furnished by the State Department of Education.

It was found that in some states the library needs of the schools were met by deposits of books from the county or municipal central library which served the area in which the school is located. In other states individual school libraries were supplemented by loans from the office of the county superintendent of education, and in still other states there is a department of state library extension which lends book collection's to applying schools. The book provision reported to come nearest adequacy was that of the county library.

Forty-four states have made a beginning in mandatory or conditional provision by law for rural school library support. Provision for state, county, or local support of school libraries is not mandatory in South Carolina. No equalization or stimulation library fund is available for either unconditional or conditional support of school libraries in this state at this time, August, 1933.

That there is no state appropriation for school libraries is the more remarkable since the first appropriation by the state for public school support was that of $5,000 in 1904 for the school library matching fund. An appropriation for a school library stimulating fund was made by the state annually between the years 1904 and 1927 with the exception of a few years.

Table 7 shows the expenditures reported for library books in the white and negro schools of the state for the six-year period 1925-26 to 1930-31 inclusive.

Prior to 1927 many white and a few negro schools took advantage of the library matching fund. With its withdrawal in 1927, the sums raised by the white school communities for library book purchase are seen to have dropped. The increase in revenues expended in 1929-30 and 1930-31 for white school libraries may be attributed in part to the inadequacies of school libraries revealed in a study of the high school library situation in South Carolina made by the state high school supervisor in 1928-29, the report of which was published in 1929.

The increase in the amount spent for library books for negro schools in 1927-28 and following is largely attributable to the library stimulation fund available for negro schools for the first time from, the Rosenwald Fund in 1928 and continuously available since for them.

The decrease in 1930-32 in the sums spent for library books by the schools of both races is attributed to the economic depression which prevailed.

Table 7.-- Expenditure for School Library Books for the White and Negro Elementary and High Schools of South Carolina for the School Sessions of 1925-26 to 1930-31* Inclusive
School year Total expenditure
White Schools
Total expenditure
Negro Schools

1925-26 $26,982.89 $ 205.32
1926-27 42,267.05 257.32
1927-28 18,737.47 764.92
1928-29 16,816.87 918.60
1929-30 30,180.25 1,457.82
1930-31 33,274.00 839.00

*Data furnished by State Department of Education for 1925-1929 inclusive. Annual Report of the State Superintendent of Education of South Carolina, 1931 and 1932.

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