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The Pack Horse Librarians of Appalachia Documentary Screening

Kentucky Educational Television (KET) selected Pike County Public Library, along with three other eastern Kentucky libraries, to host a screening of their new documentary "The Pack Horse Librarians of Appalachia" on May 24 at 5:30.

This documentary tells the story of pack horse librarians – women hired by the Franklin Roosevelt’s Work Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression to travel on horseback to deliver library books and magazines to people in Eastern Kentucky, braving creeks, mountains and inclement weather along the way. In the 1930’s, as the United States was facing the Great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt looked for ways to help Americans find work by creating jobs through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). While many jobs were designed for men, Eleanor Roosevelt reminded policymakers that women were also in need of work. As a result, the WPA looked to expand culture and the arts in the country, often by encouraging the expansion of libraries. The WPA discovered a project that had originated in Kentucky in 1913, and the result was the formation of the Pack Horse Library. While people across the nation were encouraged to send books and magazines to the WPA’s newly formed libraries, the heart of the program was the Pack Horse women, who were hired to ride horses with saddlebags loaded with these books. They would take the library to the people living in the hills of their community. “The Pack Horse Women of Appalachia” chronicles the strength and bravery of these women as they rode through dense forests and over creek beds where roads did not exist and where danger lurked around every corner, delivering the treasures they carried and bringing the world to the homes of fellow Kentuckians.

A representative of KET also attended the screening to introduce the film and do a Q&A at the end.


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