Library Scrapbook – January 1945 to January 1949
A fragile scrapbook with treasures from January 1945 to January 1949 was recently found and scanned to preserve its contents. Newspaper clippings, flyers, brochures, and photographs paint a vivid picture of the important role the library played in the life of the community, and the role community members played in the life of the library!
There were many events and activities at the library including book reviews by Sorosis Club member Margaret Piper, film reviews, discussions of world events, and music appreciation programs. There were weekly Story Hours for children, the “Let’s Listen” program on WDBO radio, classes for parents, and the summer reading program.
News articles report the addition of Braille magazines and books, a ceiling book projector for for the bedridden, the new record collection and Music Room, the Florida Collection, Genealogy Collection and the new electronic book check out machine. Other articles and flyers describe the varied services the library provided and details of each department including staff. There are reports on the library’s three branches: Booker T. Washington, Colonialtown, and Grand Avenue, and the new service to patients at Orange Memorial Hospital.
There are actual flyers, bookmarks and photos of the library, Clara Wendel and the staff, the record collection, summer reading materials and registrations, the charging machine, and descendants of Orlando pioneers. The final pages of the scrapbook have advertisements, newspaper articles and a booklet created by the library heralding the 25th Silver Anniversary of the opening of the Albertson Public Library in November 1923!
It is fun to peruse every page of the scrapbook as treasures abound, however, if you are searching for a particular event or item, you may find searching for keywords in the summaries helpful.
Section 1 – January 17, 1945 to April 19, 1946
Some of the topics mentioned in section one: Miss Wendel is on leave to get an MLS degree, Margaret Piper’s Book Reviews, Story Hour for children, “Let’s Listen” on WDBO, Rollins College All Star Girls Basketball, Military Reading Club for children, and new fluorescent lights installed in library.
Articles announce the indexing of local newspapers by staff, the new library station for hospital patients, and a discussion of a plan to put mobile libraries in rural areas. Dumbarton Oaks Data is available for review and discussion, the Map of the Week service (war battles) is added, the library purchases WPA Guide Books, books are being collected for the Philippines, and new book plates will be affixed to books given in memory of military members.
Above: Invitation to children on the Army team for the 1945 summer Military Reading Club. (Page 12)
Section 2 – April 19, 1946 to September 3, 1947
Some of the topics mentioned in section two: “Let’s Listen” program on WDBO and Children’s Radio Hour contest winners, Story Hour, the Summer Reading program, the books donated for the Philippines, the library’s Hospital Service, new service at Booker T. Washington branch, Orlando Art Association displays at the library. Articles show that Adult Spanish Courses are scheduled at the library, the Wednesday Music Club spearheads donations of records to create a Music Collection and Southern Music donates a record player for the Music Room. News clippings announce the wedding of Jeanette Wallace and Benjamin Cox and Clara Wendel’s speaking engagements at various clubs and organizations.
Above: Winners of the “Books Bring Adventure” radio contest sponsored by the Junior Welfare Assn. are shown receiving their prizes. Adults: Mrs. Richard Inman, Mrs. F. W. Osmun, Jr., assistant children’s librarian, and Miss Dorothy G. Lane, children’s librarian. Children: Royce Ellingsworth, Shannon Milligan, and Virgil Austin, Jr. (Page 28)
Above: Mabelle O’Neal and Paul A. Girouard listen to records in the Music Room at the library which opened in early 1947. Two persons could listen to a recording together on a donated record player or records could be borrowed for enjoyment at home. The Wednesday Music Club sponsored the collection and donated many of the recordings. In addition, they and others conducted fund raising events to add to the collection. View the guidelines for borrowing recordings.
Above and below: Clara Wendel at the charging desk using the new electric charging machine to check books out to library patrons.
Section 3 – September 3, 1947 to January 26, 1949
Some of the topics mentioned in section three: National Book Week observed, Film Forums and Music Appreciation Hours added to library schedule, Margaret Piper continues Book Review Series and speaks at Orlando Air Force Base Women’s Club. The Wednesday Music Club and others raise funds to increase the library’s new Record Collection, Adult Spanish Classes resume, and the library is first in the state with a book ceiling projector (donated by the Pilot Club).
Included are newspaper clippings on Clara Wendel’s speaking engagements, her election by the FLA as chairman of the Public Libraries Division, and her participation in Sorosis Literature Day events, as well as photos of staff member Vivian Carter’s engagement and wedding.
Final pages of the scrap book feature the gala open house for the library’s 25th Anniversary, the Pilot Club’s proposal for a bond issue for expansion of the library, and the Sorosis Club’s recommendation for improvements and expansion of the library. Other items of note is the library’s hosting of the Books Across the Sea exhibition of British books, and the staff Christmas party at the Wendel family home in Gotha.
Above: Mrs. Clyde Williams, circulation librarian, selecting albums from the record lending library. (Page 37)
Above: Children’s librarian, Miss Dorothy G. Lane (seated on right) and assistant Mrs. Cornelia Osmum (on left) register children at the Albertson Public Library for the Summer Reading Roundup. Cowboy and Western stories were the theme for the 1948 event. Each school in the city was designated as a ranch with their own cattle brand symbol.
Above: Booklet created by Albertson Public Library Staff for the celebration of the 25th Anniversary. The official celebration and open house for the library’s Silver Jubilee delayed by a week to November 15, 1948, to coincide with National Book Week, as reported in the Sunday Sentinel Star on November 7, 1948.
Booklet created for library staff Christmas Party at the family home of Clara Wendel on Lake Olivia Grove at Gotha, December 21, 1948. The lovely event was described in detail in the December 27th Orlando Sentinel.
The photo, above, features a painting of Captain Charles L. Albertson situated above the entrance to the stack room behind the circulation desk in the old Albertson Public Library. For decades, the damaged painting was preserved at the Orlando Public Library but no one knew how it had been damaged.
A letter from a former library staff member, found in a scrapbook created for a staff party in December 1963, to say goodbye to the old Albertson library, revealed the secret!
Peruse additional items under Images and Documents below.
Scrapbook. Pages 1-19. January 17, 1945 to April 19, 1946.
Scrapbook. Pages 21-34. April 19, 1946 to September 3, 1947
Scrapbook. Pages 35-68. September 3, 1947 to January 26, 1949
Scrapbook Section 1. 1944 Annual Report.
The Albertson Public Library had a collection of Braille books and also received the Reader's Digest, All Story magazine and three others as a gift from the publishers. They also had a collection of 85 Braille books from the American Red Cross.
Scrapbook Section 2. 1946 Annual Report of the Albertson Public Library.
Scrapbook Section 2. 1947 Annual Report of the Albertson Public Library.
Scrapbook Section 3. Albertson Public Library staff Christmas Party at Lake Olivia Grove, the childhood home of Clara Wendel in Gotha, December 21, 1948.
Scrapbook Section 3. Albertson Public Library Silver Anniversary Annual Report.
Scrapbook Section 3. Memorial booklet created for the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the opening of the Albertson Public Library.
Summary of items found on pages 1-19 of the scrapbook. January 17, 1945 to April 19, 1946.
Summary of items found on pages 21-34 of the scrapbook. April 19, 1946 to September 3, 1947
Summary of items found on pages 35-68 of the scrapbook. September 3, 1947 to January 26, 1949,
Article on the 25th Anniversary of the opening of the Albertson Public Library published in the Sunday Sentinel Star, November 7, 1948, p. 24.
Hand drawn brochures were created for events at the library during 1949. These are two examples.
February-March 1949 Calendar of Events
November 1949 Calendar of Events