This Week in Local History: The tale of a ‘booket’ brigade

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister - ebaumeister@timesleader.com
Keystone students formed an ‘S’ as they passed books along from the college’s old library to its then-new building in 1967. - Abington Journal file photo

1967 — An entire library of books was transported in a rather unusual fashion from one building to another on campus at Keystone College.

“A ‘booket’ brigade, comprised of nearly 500 Keystone Junior College students, faculty and administrators, shifted nearly 17,000 volumes – the bulk of the library collection – to new quarters late last Thursday,” read the Journal article, which ran on the first page of that week’s second section.

“Faced with the problem of moving 17,000 volumes, plus periodicals and other reference materials, from the old Kemmerer Library building, the 700 students were given half-holiday from classes and offered the opportunity to take part in the book-shift.

“The transfer went like clockwork as students and teachers formed a human chain from the old building to the ultra-modern new library about 100 yards away. …It was a cold afternoon, but students were apparently having a ball as they passed an average of five books from one to the other from the old building (at one time the recreation building of a Baltimore bomber plant, transferred to La Plume and erected on campus), past Ward Hall (a men’s dormitory) and into the recently completed five story new building.”

According to the article, the construction, which began in the summer of 1966, cost a total of $980,000.

“To alleviate the monotony of spending hours passing books from person to person, music was piped from the fourth floor of Ward Hall via a taped program operated by student Frank Brown who, despite the hindrance of a cast on his left leg, injured while wrestling, also served on the brigade.”

Keystone students formed an ‘S’ as they passed books along from the college’s old library to its then-new building in 1967.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_ABJ-LH-1220-1967.jpgKeystone students formed an ‘S’ as they passed books along from the college’s old library to its then-new building in 1967. Abington Journal file photo

Compiled by Elizabeth Baumeister

ebaumeister@timesleader.com

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.