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Children’s Department Scrapbook 1924-1930

Above: Santa, children and his two polar bears, Christmas Story Hour, December 24, 1927.

Children’s Story Hour Scrapbook 1924-1930

An over 90-year old scrapbook that bears the scars from years of handling, no air conditioning, and ceiling leaks, documents children’s programs presented at the Albertson Public Library from October 1924 through September 1929.

The newspaper clippings promoting weekly children’s programs are grouped by month to easily compare attendance at programs through the years. It seems that the scrapbook was not created contemporaneously, but after 1926, with saved newspaper clippings and attendance information.


View larger image.

Early attendance numbers are impressive considering the children probably live near the library as there are few adults in attendance. Comments attribute poor attendance for some events to moving pictures or live performances at the Beacham Theatre just a few blocks from the library!


Above: The Beacham Theatre on North Orange Avenue circa 1922.

The weekly Saturday Story Hour followed a formula as explained in this newspaper clipping from June 28. 1930: “Each Saturday morning at ten o’clock… the boys and girls listen either to tales of enchantment, stories of brave heroes, to tales of Indians, or to true stories of history and biography and sometimes to a combination of these types. “

The children’s library staff did more than just tell stories at the library. A synopsis of the library’s activities during the 1928-1929 school year states:

During the school year of 1928-29 we have made visits to all the schools, telling stories at the chapel exercises of each, as well as urging the children to register as borrowers at the library. We have purchased a moving picture machine which we have used each Saturday since November [1928], giving the children travel pictures for the most part with a comedy one Saturday each month. The story hour included stories bearing on the travel pictures shown. The different schools on successive Saturday mornings presented a program of dramatization for the entertainment of the Story Hour group. This stimulated attendance and interest and gave an average Story Hour attendance of about 200 each week…

October 1924-1929

Attendance statistics for Hallow’een programs at the Albertson Public Library indicate that they were very popular with young people. The first entry in the scrapbook is the Hallow’een Story Hour on October 26, 1924, with 56 in attendance. The featured books were: How the Jack-o-Lantern Frightened Away the Indians, Jack-o-Lantern Alive by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey, Burg’s Hill on Fire by Elizabeth W. Grierson, and Shippeitaro .

There were 125 children and 8 adults in attendance for the October 30, 1926, Hallow’een Story Hour – quite a crowd for the 36 x 36 sq. ft. Children’s Reading Room at the Albertson Public Library! The 6th grade at Grand Avenue School performed a “ghost dance in costume” for the October 29, 1927, Hallow’een Story Hour with 84 children and 12 adults attending.


Above: Children’s programs in November 1924 and 1925. View larger image.

November 1924-1929

The Good Book Week and Thanksgiving related programs in 1924 and 1925 were very popular with children. During Good Book Week in 1926, Eulalie Osgood Grover visited the library for the Story Hour. Miss Brumbaugh, introduced her and told those in attendance:

I think the good fairy who loves little children must have sent us this afternoon the lady who knows all about the Sunbonnet Babies and the Overall Boys, in order that she could tell us about these little friends of hers. It seems particularly fitting that she should visit the library just at this time when we are celebrating Children’s Good Book Week. Miss Grover must have loved boys and girls very much to have written two such charming books about them, and this afternoon she is going to tell us how she came to write about the Sunbonnet Babies and the Overall Boys.

Librarian Olive Brumbaugh hosted a reception for teachers and others interested in Good Book Week activities at the library. She told those in attendance that the library had installed 89 classroom libraries over the city, each consisting of 100 to 150 books which are used for a short school term, then returned and others put in their places.

A “moving picture machine” was purchased for the children’s department in 1928. It was used each Saturday beginning November 3, 1928, giving the children travel pictures for the most part with a comedy one Saturday each month. The attendance for the first movies – a circus picture and a film about Seminole Indians – was 167 children and 12 adults!


Above: Children’s programs in November 1928. View larger image.

December 1924-1929

Book Week and Story Hour programs in December 1924 and 1925 were very popular with attendance ranging from 52 to 118!


Above: Children’s programs in December 1924 and 1925. View larger image.

Attendance at the Saturday Story Hour was often negatively impacted by moving pictures or live performances at the Beacham Theatre. The story hour on December 11, 1926 shows there were only 37 in attendance, with a note “Peter Pan on at Beacham same hour.” The attendance at the Christmas Party the following Saturday rebounded with 106 children and 18 adults!

The Christmas Story Hour on December 24, 1927 featured a visit from Santa and two of his polar bears.



Above: Santa, children and his two polar bears, Christmas Story Hour, December 24, 1927.

“More than a hundred boys and girls enjoyed the Christmas program last Saturday when Santa Claus made his appearance from the cold north with one of his tiny Polar bear (little Norman Wittenstein) riding in his sleigh, guided by a larger Polar bear (Barbara Brinsfield). In the sleigh was a large supply of pink and white cookies cut in the shape of animals. These were distributed by Santa and his helpers to all those present. During the program, carols were played upon the Victrola and the little Polar bear told about the Christmas tree of the cold north.”

The December 22, 1928, Christmas Story Hour had only 48 children and 6 adults in attendance, as “Rain & Beacham performance with Johnny Jones attraction made attendance poor.”


Above: Story Hour programs, January 1926. View larger image.

January 1925-1930

Based on notations in the scrapbook in January 1926 (see image below), it appears that story hours in the Children’s Room (C.R.) at the library in January 1926, were conducted in conjunction with movies at the Beacham Theatre (B.T.) resulting in huge attendance numbers.


Above: January 1926 programs in conjunction with events at the Beacham Theatre. View larger image.

The Sunday January 3, 1926, edition of the Orlando Sentinel reported on the first story hour held at the Beacham Theatre on Saturday, January 2, 1926, and mentions the Johnny Jones carnival and circus that wintered in Orlando:

The story hour and educational motion pictures given under the auspices of the department of the public recreation, cooperating with the Albertson public library, were attended by 150 children yesterday morning at 11 o’clock. Miss Olive Brumbaugh, librarian, and Miss Mary Deaver told stories which held the interest of the children. This was the first story hour with motion pictures, which will be held each Saturday morning at 11 o’clock.

 

An advertisement in the same newspaper for the following Saturday, indicates that the Children’s Story Hour at the Beacham was in addition to the regular story hour at the library on Saturday’s at 10 a.m.

In January 1927 Grand Avenue School dramatized “Princess Whom No One Could Silence,” Marks Street School gave two plays, and Concord School dramatized “Snow White.’

February 1925-1930

On February 5, 1927, Hillcrest School gave a safety play and Lillian Conn and William Webb gave recitations, and on February 26, 1927, Princeton School children dramatized the “Three Pigs.”

The Story Hour on February 19, 1927, was not well-attended due to “Rain in sheets!”

Beginning in February 1930, Miss Clara Burton, formerly principal of the Cathedral school, began presenting stories of some of the masterpieces of art sponsored by the Orlando Art Association as part of the usual Saturday program. “In this way, the children are able to know and appreciate the best in art and recognize these pictures wherever they may see them in later years.”

The stories selected were semi-historical and classic titles that fit with the art section of the program presented by Mrs. Stewart and Miss Weldon of the children’s department.

March 1925-1930

On March 12, 1927, pupils in Mrs. George’s room at Delaney School dramatized the fairy tale Snow White and Rose Red, as part of the Saturday Children’s Story Hour, and there was a recitation by Billy Ware.

On March 15, 1930, famous Irish writer Seumas MacManus treated 15 adults and 89 children to a reading of his book “Jack and the King who was a Gentleman.”


Above: March 1930, St. Patrick’s Story Hour with Seumas MacManus. View larger image.

April 1925-1930

A newspaper clipping promoting the April 10, 1926 Story Hour, announced that librarian Mrs. R. M. Stewart, Jr., formerly with the Jacksonville Public Library, had joined Mrs. W. H. Bailey, Jr., in the children’s department.

In March 1927, a school contest for story hour was initiated. The top three participating elementary schools as of the April 2, 1927, were 1-Hillcrest, 2-Magnolia and 3-Delaney.


Above: Story Hour April 2, 1927, School Attendance Contest. View larger image.

“Little Orphan Annie,” James Whitcomb Riley’s immortal childhood poem, was shown in pictures at the Albertson Public Library on April 27, 1929, at 9:30 a.m. for children 10 and over and at 2:30 p.m. for younger children. The film was a big hit with 157 in attendance at 9:30 a.m. showing and 61 at 2:30 p.m. showing. We are not certain but believe this is the version of Little Orphant Annie that was shown.


Above: April 27, 1929, performance of “Little Orphan Annie.” View larger image.

May 1925-1930

The Birthday / May Day Story Hour on May 1, 1926, combined the monthly birthday party for children and the celebration of May Day with an attendance of 84 children and 17 adults. Five children received books for attending every story hour during their birthday month in April. Several stories suggestive of spring were told, as well as an original May Day-Birthday story by children’s librarian, Mrs. R. M. Stewart, Jr.


Above: Birthday May Day Story Hour, May 1, 1926. View larger image.

A special mid-week Music Story Hour was presented after school on Wednesday afternoon May 4, 1927, in the art room at the Albertson Public Library. While planned for adults, children were invited to attend and 33 did! The selections from Wagner and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel were “played upon the Victrola.”

Another Music Story Hour followed on May 7th, featuring music played on the Victrola. It was also the last day of the school attendance contest so the attendance was especially great – 175 children and 10 adults – with Hillcrest coming in at first place and Magnolia in second.

June 1926-1930

An article published in June 1928, explains in detail the Vacation Reading Club:

These clubs are for the purpose of stimulating the reading of backward students as well as for those who read for the pure joy of reading. Selected lists have been worked out with the assistance of the superintendent and teachers of the public schools… Those entering 2nd or 3rd grade must read five books from their lists, making oral reports on Wednesday afternoons of the books read. It is necessary for each reader to know the author and title of the book and to be able to tell the story in an intelligent fashion…

Above notation states that only 21 children and 2 adults attended the story hour on June 5, 1926, due to “Rain in torrents!”

July 1926-1930

The July 3, 1926, Saturday Story Hour for older children combined the “monthly birthday celebration together with the commemoration of the birth of the independence of our country…. [with] stories whose main thought is loyal devotion to country and duty.” In honor of Independence Day each of the children was given a tiny silk flag.

The weekly Little Children’s Hour for boys and girls up to and including the third grade, continued on Wednesday afternoons at 4 p.m. The worst attendance recorded was July 28, 1926. There were only 10 children and 2 adults due to rain.

The Fourth of July program for the older children on July 2, 1927, included stories and a brief sketch of the meaning of the day. An article promoting the event, announced that the Vacation Reading Club had 88 members.

A special story hour on January 25, 1928, featured Mrs. F. W. Taylor, secretary of the Library Board, who entertained the children with a group of true stories. The stories consisted of legends of Lake Eola and other interesting places in Florida.

NOTE: Several July events are in the August section.

August 1926-1930

An article about the August 21, 1926, Children’s Story Hour, promotes a special scrapbook project:

Particular interest is being taken in the scrapbooks both by the mothers and the children. These scrapbooks are to be made at story hour by the children themselves and are to be given to the little children at the hospitals. Each mother is urged to help her children select and cut out pictures for these books. The pictures are to be saved and brought to the story hour the day of the contest.

The weather on August 11th disrupted the Story Hour, indicated by a note, “Rain Again!” An announcement in the paper the following week mentioned the weather issue:

Owing to the rainy weather of last Saturday, few children attended the Saturday morning story hour which dealt with heroic legends of historic merit. For this reason, several of these will be given this Saturday at ten o’clock in the Children’s department of the Albertson Public library.

 September 1926-1929

An article promoting the September 25, 1926, Story Hour states: “The aim of story-telling in the library is to introduce to the children the very best in literature and by means of the story, to interest them in ones of like nature.”

The Little Children’s Scrap Book Contest is explained in a newspaper clipping about the September 8, 1926, Little Children’s Story Hour.

Mothers will be permitted to assist the little ones in arranging their pictures. The size of the pages is 9 by 12 and they consist of 24 pages. Each child may use his own ideas in making the books, but it is suggested that cheerful pictures dear to every child’s heart be included. The books will be judged by Miss Tillie Moyers, Mrs. Sterling Smith and Miss Ella Faber, and they will be rewarded for neatness and care in their make-up. The awards will be made next week at which time the books will be on exhibit at the library.

Through the courtesy of one of our dearest Story Hour friends, the scrap books as well as the two book prizes for each Story Hour have been donated… Not only those who have been regular attendants at the Story Hours, but also those who have never been at the library, are invited to help with the scrap books for the sick children in our great hospitals.


Above: September 6, 1926, Honor Roll Awards and Little Children’s scrapbook contest. View larger image.

Some book selections used in the weekly Story Hour were chosen in coordination with school courses. A newspaper article about the September 29, 1928, story hour states:

An effort will be made during the winter to include in each Saturday’s program some stories that deal particularly with historical or geographical subjects included in the school course of study. In this way, the children will be better able to understand the work which they are having in their weekday studies.

Some staff are mentioned in newspaper clippings promoting the weekly Children’s Story Hour and Little Children’s Story Hour, and the 1925 Albertson Public Library annual report lists a few, too.

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ATTACHMENTS

Children's Department Scrapbook 1924-1930

Children's Department Scrapbook 1924-1930

Beacham Theatre

Beacham Theatre

October 23-30, 1926 Hallow'een Story Hour

October 23-30, 1926, Hallow'een Story Hour

October 26, 1924 Hallow'een Story Hour

October 26, 1924, Hallow'een Story Hour

October 27, 1929 - Ghost Dance

October 27, 1929 - Ghost Dance

November 1924-1925 children's programs

November 1924-1925 children's programs

November Reception at APL

Reception at the library for teachers for Good Book Week.

Book Week 1926 Eulalle Osgood Grover

Good Book Week November 1926, Eulalie Osgood Grover

November 1928 - First movies in library

November 1928 - Moving Pictures!

December 1924-1925

December 1924-1925

December 1926 - Beacham

December 1926 - Beacham

December 1927 - Christmas Party News

December 1927 - Christmas Party News - Santa and Polar Bears

December 24, 1927 Santa and Polar Bears

December 24, 1927 Santa and Polar Bears

December 24, 1927 Santa and Polar Bears

December 24, 1927 Santa and Polar Bears

December 22, 1928

December 22, 1928 Beacham Theatre and Johnny Jones Attractions.

January 1926 - Beacham Theater

January 1926 - Beacham Theater

January 3, 1926 Orlando Morning Sentinel

Story Hour and Picture Show at the Beacham 11 a.m. January 9, 1926

January 3, 1926 Orlando Morning Sentinel

Library director Miss Olive Brumbaugh and children's librarian Miss Mary Deaver told stories at the first story hour with motion picture to...

February 1927 - Rain and Princeton Elementary

February 1927 - Rain and Princeton Elementary

February 5, 1927 - Hillcrest Elementary

February 5, 1927 - Hillcrest Elementary

February 1930 Clara Barton Masterpieces of Art

February 1930 Clara Barton Masterpieces of Art

March 15, 1930 Seumas MacManus

March 15, 1930 Seumas MacManus

April 2, 1927 Story Hour

April 2, 1927 Story Hour

April 27, 1929 performance of Little Orphan Annie

April 27, 1929 performance of Little Orphan Annie

May 1, 1926 - Birthday May Day Story Hour

May 1, 1926 - Birthday May Day Story Hour

March 123, 1927 - Delaney School

March 12, 1927 - Delaney School

March 15, 1930 Seamus MacManus

March 15, 1930, Seamus MacManus

May 1927 Midweek Music Story Hour - Victrola

May 1927 Midweek Music Story Hour - Victrola

June 5, 1926 - Rain in torrents!

June 5, 1926 - Rain in torrents!

June 28, 1930 Story Hour

June 28, 1930, Story Hour

July 28, 1926 - Little Children's Hour

July 28, 1926 - Little Children's Hour

August 11, 1928 - Repeats due to rain

August 11, 1928 - Repeats due to rain

August 28, 1928 - Rain Again

August 28, 1928 - Rain Again

August 21, 1926

August 21, 1926 - Special scrapbook project

September 6, 1926 Little Children's Scrapbook Contest

September 6, 1926, Little Children's Scrapbook Contest and Honor Roll Awards.

September 25, 1926

The aim of storytelling. September 25, 19326.

September 29, 1928

Books chosen to coordinate with school work.

Library Staff 1925 Annual Report

Library Staff 1925 Annual Report

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January 1925-1930 programs

January 1925-1930 programs


February 1925-1930 programs

February 1925-1930 programs


March 1925-1930 programs

March 1925-1930


April 1925-1930

April 1925-1930 programs


May 1925-1930 programs

May 1925-1930 programs


June 1926-1930 programs

June 1926-1930 programs


June 1928 Vacation Reading Club

June 1928 Vacation Reading Club


1926 Eulalie Osgood Grover

November 1926 - Good Book Week - Eulalle Osgood Grover


July 1926-1930 programs

July 1926-1930 programs


August 1926-1930 programs

August 1926-1930 programs


September 1926-1929 programs

September 1926-1929 programs


October 1924-1929 programs

October 1924-1929 programs


November 1924-1929 programs

November 1924-1929 programs


December 1924-1929 programs

December 1924-1929 programs


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