The Administration of W. H. Hand

A great period of advocacy for school libraries began during the administration of W. H. Hand from 1918 to his death in 1928. Although funding for libraries was limited, Hand tried throughout his administration to improve libraries and add equipment to schools. W. H. Hand
Hand believed that libraries were essential to quality teaching. In the 1918-1919 annual report he said, "The Columbia school libraries are very inadequate. Like many other places, we are spending thousands of dollars to teach children how to read, then giving them nothing to read after they have been taught. Children without the proper guidance soon leave off reading or they surfeit themselves on the scum of the news stands. A non-reading people are almost invariably an uninformed people, and an uninformed people are narrow and prejudiced. The constant readers of trashy or vicious literature are shallow and coarse. Are our people content to withhold from their children the benefits that come from reading wholesome books? Are the people of Columbia willing for another generation to be brought up in their midst who will turn a deaf ear to all pleadings for a public library? When Columbia's public library shall come it will be the child of the public schools. People do not become a reading people in a day. It is a matter if training."

By 1920, the salaries of librarians had increased to $1202.50 ($1000 was the salary for a full time nurse) and the budget for libraries was $305 out of $252,921. The Triennial Report 1922-23, 1923-24, 1924-25 indicates that, "All our school libraries have grown steadily and with reasonable rapidity. We have no useless volumes taking up space needed for other things. The teachers and the pupils of the different schools have shown a commendable interest in their libraries." Primary reading materials in the 1923 curriculum included Henny Penny, Bremen Town Musicians, The Story of Moses, Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Alice in Wonderland , and Stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Wardlaw Dedication Program

At the dedication of Wardlaw Junior High in 1927, the first junior high school in the district, The program speech by Superintendent G. M. Eleazer was entitled "The Equipment of the Modern School Building."

Read more about:

W. H. Hand's Speech on Libraries (Triennial Report 1925-26, 1926-27, 1927-28)

Return to Richland One Index home

Return to the
South Carolina Library History Project

This page created by Donna Teuber
Updated January 17, 2000.
Copyright 2000 by the
Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina