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Vol. VIL—No. 1.
RALEIGH. N. C, JANUARY 2, 1913.
One Dollar a Year.
RURAL LIBRARIES— THEIR IMPORTANCE
Prof. C. C. Wright, Hunting Creek, N. C., Superintendent of Schools of Wilkes County and Chairman of National Educational Committee of the Farmers Union.
As the long winter nights are again upon us and
as they furnish ample opportunity for reading, I
wish to write this month emphasizing the use of
the rural school library. As practically all of the
States have some kind of a rural school library
law and as most of these laws have been in oper
ation for some time, I take it that there are very
fews if any, progressive communities which have
not already secured these school libraries, hence I
shall not waste time in stressing the need of good
books in the hands of the boys and girls of the
country schools, but instead thereof would empha
size the importance of having the teacher direct
and supervise the reading of the children under
Where there are libraries in the schools there
will always be found boys and girls who will read
the books, and it is a matter of no little concern
that our children have access to only the best ob
tainable. I care not how closely the selection of
these books for the schools may be guarded, nor
with what care they may be selected for each in
dividual school, mistakes are likely to be made
and, in our opinion, the teacher has no greater
duty in the school room than in the direction and
supervision of the child’s reading. “As the twig
is bent so the tree is inclined,” is an old but none
the less true saying and a mistake made here in
early life may largely determine the destiny of the
A great deal depends upon the teachers’ atti
tude in regard to the library. If her mind has no
literary trend, if she does not call the attention
of the children to the literary treat in store for
them by coming in contact with the master minds
of all the ages, if she does not encourage her chil
dren to read the probability is that there may be a
number of her pupils who will never receive any
real or lasting benefit from the library. Not long
since a teacher took up the work in this county
in a community where a school library had been
placed a year or two before and at the close of
her term reported five hundred and twenty books
read during the session. During the very same
year another teacher in the same county taught
or rather kept school and at the close of her
term reported to the county superintendent that
there was no library in her district. A library
had been placed here three or four years before
this occurrence. The teacher of the first named
school was a teacher in deed and in truth and saw
something in her work beyond the mere pittance
of dollars and cents, which she drew as her salary
at the close of the term. In the latter case com
ment is unnecessary. Unfortunate indeed is the
school which must suffer with such a type of
teacher, and the sooner our people realize that a
cheap teacher is dear at any price, the better will
it be for the schools.
To those communities which as yet may not
have secured school libraries I would suggest that
you confer with the teacher and the school offi
cials—the committeemen and the friends of edu
cation in the district and set about raising the ne
cessary funds to put these in. I know of a num
ber of schools that have had no trouble in raising
the amounts required by the State and county by
means of box parties, entertainments, etc., etc. I
happen to kno'W a number of teachers who have
FARMERS’ UNION POETRY.
There being no committee on poetry at the re
cent Farmers’ Union Convention in Raleigh, Mr.
John M. Sharpe, of Iredell, Secretary of the Reso-
lutions'Committee, introduced in the Convention
a poem and recommended that it be received with
out prejudice. Here it is;
PROF. C. C. WRIGHT, Hunting Creek, N. C.
Chairman National Educational Committee.
donated at least one day of their salary for this
purpose, and then would see the citizens for pri
vate donations. A number of instances have come
tinder my own observation where public spirited
citizens have donated books as the part required
by law for the school to raise in order to secure
the aid of the State and county.
In conclusion let me urge the importance of
supplementing from time to time the original
libraries which have been placed in our schools.
The State laws provide for this being done at
stated intervals, and as there are many good and
suitable books being issued almost every day 1
would suggest that the library be supplemented at
least as often as once in every two years. This
furnishes fresh reading material as often as the
average hoy or girls needs it and it will serve too
to keep alive the community interest in the work.
Let me ask that the various educational com
mittees of the Farmers’ Union look after these
matters and let them aid the teachers and school
officials in the manner suggested above.
Hunting Creek, N. C., December 28, 1912.
I’ve an invitation to Columbia
Which is just across the line.
There to meet some dignitaries
Which surely would be fine.
For how I long to go, with—
Alexander, Poe, and Union City Barrett,
To miss this meeting, dear friends;—
1 fear I cannot bear it.
You know I’d go if I’d the dough
If only to meet Sir Alfred Plunkett,
But I’ve searched in vain and can
Not find the necessary plunket.
* * III
The editor of this paper set out to beat Brother
Sharpe on poetry, but he couldn’t get it to rhyme
and has dumped the original manuscript into the
waste-basket and substituted the following from
Edmund Vance Cooke in a current issue of The
Drat Them Hens!
Well, drat them hens! when eggs is cheap
They lay the hull place ankle-deep.
Just keeps me lame a-stoopin’ round
A-pickin’ egg up off the ground,
A-tryin’ to clean some corner out
An’ give the crops a chance to sprout.
Just keeps me poor a-hirin’ hands
To haul them eggs from off my lands.
They overflow the barns an’ sheds,
The kitchen sink an’ family beds.
Don’t get no chance to eat or sleep.
The way it is when eggs is cheap.
But drat them hens! when eggs is dear
They sit around for half a year
Batin’ my wallet to its marrow.
With no more conscience than a sparrow;
Indulgin’ in a conversation
On every subjec’ since Creation
Exceptin’ “eggs an’ how to lay ’em.”
Makes me so mad I want to slay ’em.
Here’s eggs a-sellin’ by the carat
And every darned hen is a parrot!
Just ornamentin’ this here sphere
Is all they do when eggs is dear.
But ’pears to me, aside from jokes.
That hens is purty much like folks.
Not carin’ what’s the worst or best.
They want to do just like the rest.
By grab! us folks is worse than hens;
Hens can’t lay eggs exceptin’ when’s
The layin’-time, but people could
Do different, often, if they would.
Now, take a bank: it lends its pile
(Continued on page 4.)
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