Warsaw Library: Librarians On Horseback
By Melissa Chapman
Warsaw Community Public Library
“That Book Woman” by Heather Henson is a picture book for children. It is about a family living in the Appalachian Mountains in the 1930s that gets books to read during the regular visits of the “Book Woman”, a librarian who rides a packhorse through the mountains, lending books to the isolated residents.
“The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” by Kim Michele Richardson tells the story of blue-skinned Cussy Carter, the last living female of the rare blue people of Kentucky. She joins Roosevelt’s Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky and becomes a traveling librarian, riding across slippery creek beds and up treacherous mountains on her mule to deliver books and other reading material to the impoverished hill people of Eastern Kentucky. Along her route, Cussy faces doubters at every turn but is determined to bring the joy of books to the hardscrabble Kentuckians.
For those who have not heard of the blue-skinned people, they were known as the Blue Fugates who settled in Eastern Kentucky in the 1800s who were notable for having been carriers of a genetic trait that led to the disease methemoglobinemia, which gives sufferers blue-tinged skin. The last known descendant of the Fugates was born in 1975 and eventually lost his blue skin tone as he grew older.
“Giver of Stars” by Jojo Moyes is a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond. When a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, these five women answer the call to become the horseback librarians of Kentucky. While facing all kinds of danger, they are committed to their job, bringing books to people who have never had any, sharing the gift of learning that will change their lives. Based on a true story in America’s past, the “Giver of Stars” is unparalleled in its scope. Funny at times, and heartbreaking at others, this is a richly rewarding novel of friendships, true love, and what happens when one reaches beyond the grasp for the great beyond.
Interested in the reading about the brave librarians who brought literacy to the Appalachia on horseback? Come in and check it out. The Warsaw Community Public Library is open Monday-Wednesday
9 a.m-8 p.m., Thursday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.