The Libraries of South Carolina
by Mary Frayser
Page 28
Bulletin 292 page 28
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Book Provision

White Schools

Thirty-nine per cent of the white elementary schools of the state report an entire lack of school library provision for their pupils.

It is apparent from Table 8 that there is an average of approximately only one library book per pupil for children in the first seven grades and a library expenditure for them of approximately only three cents per pupil during the school. year under consideration. It was noted that the lack of library books was greater in rural than in urban schools. School authorities instance this lack as one reason why the average grade-for-age attainment of rural school children is not equal to that of city children.

Seventeen counties reported that no expenditure for elementary school library books had been made by them in 1931-32. The amounts reported by counties making such outlay ranged from a total of $1.00 for Bamberg county to a total of $1,615 for Richland county in the year under consideration. The reading needs of elementary school children in South Carolina are clearly not adequately provided for.

Forty-seven of the 343 white high schools of the state, or 13.7 per cent, are without school libraries. Fourteen counties made no expenditure for high school library books in 1931-32. When the books on the high school library shelves are considered in relation to student enrollment, there is seen to be an average provision of 3.65 books per pupil with an average expenditure of approximately 30 cents per high school student for the state in the school year under consideration. Book provision and expenditure are below the standard set by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, which calls for a minimum average provision of five books per student at an average cost of $2.00 per book in high schools with an enrollment of 100 or more students.

Table 8. -- Enrollment Volumes, and Library Expenditure in White Schools of South Carolina, 1931-32
  Enrollment public schools Total volumes in school libraries Volumes per capita school enrollment Total school library expenditure Expenditure per capita school enrollment
Elementary school 202,894 201,185 0.99 $5,923 0.029
High school 48,470 176,934 3.65 $9,928 0.305

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