Thursday, May 18, 1967
Spotlight On...

Mrs. L.E. Chiles, chairman of the Scott County Library Board, announces that May 23 will be designated as Clyde Duke Day to honor Mrs. Duke for her many years of faithful services to the County Library. A tea will be held at the Waldron Library from 3 to 5 p.m. All of her friends are invited to attend. A letter from Mrs. Lora Gaines Goolsby to Louise Money, who was an eighth grade student in a library project that Mrs. Child sponsored in 1935, gives a history of the library:

A Mrs. Compere, wife of a Baptist minister, ordered about seventy-five books and got local people to subscribe at $1.50 per year- She moved away and Mrs. Goolsby took over with two shelves in the back of the bank. They made money to buy more books by sponsoring "slight of hand" performances. Dot Hughes gave a benefit with his new records for his graphaphone, and a $100 contest was won by selling advertisements for the Times-Record. This was about 1909. Mrs. Goolsby worked two years as librarian with Mrs. Clyde Duke her assistant. She names other loyal men and women who helped to establish and maintain this first community library. Miss Hattie Hart (Mrs. Mont. Smith), Mrs. W.P. Harris, Mrs. Gregg Bates, Mrs. Beale Mitchell, Mr. W.E. Baker and others were on this list. Mrs. Goolsby moved to Fort Smith and Mrs. Duke became head librarian. Later a Literary Club was formed which maintained the library for many years. These women were zealous money makers, holding rummage sales, bankers dinners, bake sales and sundry projects. The old jail was leased from Judge Julious Martin in 1934. A WPA project remodeled the building, and the library became a cultured and useful center of the town. Red Cross workers rolled bandages and packed knitting there in World War II. When many of the members of the Literary Club had moved away or died, the library needed more support. The club changed into the present Waldron Garden Club which sponsored a one-mill tax which passed after three trials on the ballot. The tax was voted at an opportune time in 1952. No other county qualified for state aid that year. Because Scott County negotiated with Sebastian to form a two-county set-up, a grant of state aid of $23,000 was used to buy books and a bookmobile to serve both counties. Miss Wilma Ingram was head librarian for this two-county library with headquarters at Greenwood. Mrs. Duke, having served with little or no pay when funds were not available for the Waldron Library, was made Scott County Librarian. Then the library was kept open five half days each week instead of the one-half day time. More space was needed so the library moved into the Memorial Hall where it was housed until it was moved to the present location next door to the Mayor's office. Scott County received a $1,000 award in 1960 from a National Dorothy Canfield Fisher Fund for Rural Libraries which had shown progress. Then a $5,000 grant from the government came which was spent for books making the County Library one to be proud of. In January of 1962 Mrs. Duke reported 1072 books were checked out. More than 1000 books are checked out each month according to records. Also magazines are widely read. Fifty of the newest books received recently are extra large print for the benefit of those who do not see well. A project is underway to take books to the hospital and Nursing Home. Another project which will be carried out for children is a story hour for the summer. Many people have made the library one of the finest institutions of our county. Mrs. J. Frank Blakemore of Fort Smith, who is a daughter of the late Mrs. Goolsby, remembers it with a substantial donation each year in memory of her mother. Other memorials have furnished some very valuable books. Much credit goes to Judge Abbott for his assistance as ex-officio member of the Scott County Library Board which consists of Mrs. L.E. Chiles, chairman; Mr. W.A. McKeown, Mrs. Lorene May, Mrs. Inez Neal, Norman Goodner and another to be appointed soon to take the place of Mrs. Claud Harrison who moved away. It is hoped all friends of the library will pay it a visit Tuesday afternoon to honor Mrs. Duke and view the progress made.

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