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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Montgomery in Montgomery County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
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Bertha Pleasant Williams / Rosa Parks Branch Library

 
 
Bertha Pleasant Williams Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 15, 2021
1. Bertha Pleasant Williams Marker
Marker replaced after vehicle accident.
Inscription.  
Bertha Pleasant Williams
First black employee of Montgomery library system, Bertha Pleasant Williams received a high school degree in Fairfield, AL in 1939, a degree from Alabama State College (now ASU) in 1943, and, in 1949, a BLS degree from Atlanta University. Her first job was elementary teacher at Snow Hill Institute, teaching all subjects. Upon Montgomery's funding a public library for blacks in 1948, Williams came as librarian, receiving special recognition "so that adults and children of Afro-American communities can have their first use of Public Library Services." For twelve years served in this capacity, and in 1960, when new branch library opened on Cleveland Avenue, she became the Head Librarian, working there for over nine years. Upon leaving city library, she moved to Alabama State University Library for seven years and as Head of the rare Book Collection and archives for another seven. In 1993, Alabama State University recognized her fifty years of contributions to library service and education with a special Golden Graduation Diploma. Bertha Williams served as President of Montgomery Alumnae Chapter
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of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. between 1954-1956 as she continued as Head Librarian of the Union Street Library for Coloreds. The Alabama Library Association also honored Bertha Williams.

Rosa Parks Branch Library
Second public library for blacks in City of Montgomery, this building opened in 1960 as Montgomery Branch Library on Cleveland Avenue. Designed by architect James Miller Davis, it served the black population at a time the main facility on High Street prohibited their patronage. Planned to contain 15,000 volumes, this structure has meeting rooms and areas for adults, teen-agers and children. Judge Frank Johnson ordered desegregation of Montgomery libraries in 1962. The first public library for blacks opened in 1948 in two rooms of the Community House of City Federation of Negro Women's Clubs on South Union Street. Librarian Bertha Williams, the first black employee of the city library system, led that branch for its twelve years of operation and became head librarian of this one upon its opening. Change of name to Rosa Parks Branch came with re-naming of Cleveland Avenue for heroine of Bus Boycott.
 
Erected 2012 by The Fortitude Foundation - Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. & the Alabama Historical Association.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed
Rosa Parks Branch Library Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 15, 2021
2. Rosa Parks Branch Library Marker
Marker replaced and turned 180°
in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, MusicCivil RightsWomen. In addition, it is included in the Alabama Historical Association, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1960.
 
Location. This marker has been replaced by another marker nearby. It was located near 32° 21.544′ N, 86° 19.012′ W. Marker was in Montgomery, Alabama, in Montgomery County. Marker was at the intersection of Rosa L Parks Avenue and Early Street, on the right when traveling south on Rosa L Parks Avenue. Touch for map. Marker was at or near this postal address: 1276 Rosa L Parks Ave, Montgomery AL 36108, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this location. Bertha Pleasant Williams Library (a few steps from this marker); Home of Dr. E. D. Nixon, Sr. (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Charlie and Lucille Times (approx. 0.2 miles away); Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (approx.
Bertha Pleasant Williams Library - Rosa Parks Avenue Branch image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, January 19, 2014
3. Bertha Pleasant Williams Library - Rosa Parks Avenue Branch
¼ mile away); Holt Street Baptist Church (approx. half a mile away); Sidney Lanier High School (approx. half a mile away); Support: Local and Organizational (approx. half a mile away); Historic Sites Near Fairview Environmental Park (approx. half a mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Montgomery.
 
Regarding Bertha Pleasant Williams / Rosa Parks Branch Library. The library name was changed in July, 2012 from Rosa Parks Library to its current name of Bertha Pleasant Williams Library in honor of the city's first black librarian.
 
Bertha Pleasant Williams Library and marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, May 15, 2021
4. Bertha Pleasant Williams Library and marker
Marker hit by vehicle. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, July 7, 2019
5. Marker hit by vehicle.
Library personnel report that the marker was hit by a vehicle. The marker is in the process of repair.

Update: As of July 12th, 2020 the marker is still not there.

 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 15, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 957 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 15, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   3. submitted on January 20, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   4. submitted on May 15, 2021, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.   5. submitted on July 7, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.

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Feb. 26, 2024