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In 1948, the Carnegie Corporation made grants of $25,000 to the Cleveland Public Library and $15,000 to the Missouri State Library to set up 3-year regional educational film distribution programs in northern Ohio and in Missouri. In Cleveland, films were distributed among a consortium of 10 library systems in the region; twenty library systems participated in Missouri. These successful programs served as models for other library systems, and lasted well into the last quarter of the twentieth century, when films in libraries were replaced with videocassettes and later DVDs. This paper explores the antecedents of the program at the Cleveland Public Library as well as the careers of the two women, Patricia Blair and Virginia Beard, who were responsible for the design of the program and for its success. Both became nationally-recognized experts on the use of films in public libraries and rose to national prominence in the American Library Association.

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Library & Information History

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