A Note on the Text

This Web version of the text has been lightly edited, with the goal of achieving a balance between readability and fidelity to the original. The changes made fall into four general categories:

Corrections to obvious errors. These were the only cases in which the wording of the original may have been altered. For instance, in the fourth section, "So Good and Necessary . . .," in paragraph 8 of the subsection titled "The Statewide WPA Library Project" (page 3 of the print version), the original reads, ". . . to create an understanding of the benefits of public library service and an acceptance of the the cost of that service." Clearly only one "the" before "cost" is required and intended, so we have kept only one. These cases were few in number, and most of them involved spelling errors.

Comma placement for maximum readability. We have occasionally added (and in a very few cases omitted) commas to make the sense of the text as easily comprehensible as possible, a true imperative for publishing on the Web. Consider the following, from the third sentence of the Marlboro County section (page 40 of the original): "Each club member contributed a book and a reading shelf of ten books was placed in the home of Mrs. H.L. McColl with library hours provided once a week." The first time through, the mind assumes the reading shelf to be a second contribution from club members, and some backtracking is necessary to make sure that the shelf is the second subject of a compound sentence. We have placed a comma after "book" (and after "McColl" while we were at it) in the interest of the reader, for whom taking in long blocks of text from a screen is already trouble enough. We have added other commas in some similar instances, and omitted two or three which unnecessarily interrupt the flow of sentences.

Hyphens. We have added hyphens to some compound adjectives. For instance, sentence 2 of the Orangeburg section (page 43) reads, "The project was proposed in 1935 and a house to house canvass throughout the entire county brought a general expression of approval for traveling library service." Two of our added hyphens went to change "house to house" to "house-to-house," again with the purpose of rendering Miss Walker's work more amenable to browsing without abusing her intent.

General punctuation. Most of these involved moving a period or comma from outside to the inside of quotation marks.

That said, we have nevertheless preserved most of the original's non-standard use (or non-use) of commas and hyphens, along with its interesting capitalization, primarily in the interest of scholarly fidelity to the text, but also because we believe these constitute some of the unique charms of the work.

The original text of this work, published by the South Carolina State Library, is not subject to copyright restriction.