Laura Carroll Colored Branch Library, Lexington, KY (Fayette County)
Planning by the Lexington Public Library for a colored branch library started in 1947. The property at 572 Georgetown Street was leased from Letitia Hobbs. A naming contest was held at the Booker T. Washington School, organized by the principal, Lucy H. Smith. Student Helen Henderson won the contest with the name Laura Carroll for the new colored branch library. Laura Carroll had died in 1939, she had been a primary school teacher at Chandler Normal School for Colored Children. Her personal library had been donated to the Booker T. Washington School. The Laura Carroll Library opened in June of 1949 with Mrs. Daisy Combs as the head librarian on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday [she was employed at the Aspendale Library on alternate days]. Genevie Covington was in charge of the Laura Carroll Library on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Elizabeth Botts worked during the supper hours and other times when needed. The Laura Carroll Library was the only Negro branch library established by the Lexington Public Library. In January of 1951, the trustees of the Lexington Public Library adopted a resolution to close the Laura Carroll Library. No reason for the closing was recorded in the records. The three Negro librarians were notified that there services would no longer be needed after February 28,1951. Library service to the Georgetown Street area would be replaced by bookmobile services. The 1951 Library Annual Report from the Lexington Public Library stated that services were provided at the main library with no segregation. The Laura Carroll Colored Branch Library in Lexington was one of the last segregated libraries to be established in Kentucky. For more information and citations see Library Service to African Americans in Kentucky by R. F. Jones. See also the NKAA entries Fayette County Rural Library Service, Negro Efforts, Charlotte Court and Aspendale Libraries and Colored Reading Room.