The Libraries at Camp Dix - 1918
A “War College” - the Branch Library in Y.M.C.A. No. 1, Camp Dix.
It contains more than a thousand books and was installed by a former secretary, Raymond P. Sanford, aided by the American Library Association.
The books are card-indexed and range from fiction to technical and reference works. The drawing of books is exceedingly simple and was very popular during the training days.
The proportion of technical books ’read by the soldiers was very large, a true indication of an earnest effort to seriously improve the mind during the leisure hours of camp life.
An Interior View of the Library. Complete in Every Detail and with a Service Coupled to the Large Ones of Nearby Cities Men Were Enabled to Secure Any Book Desired.
Exterior View of the Camp Library of the American Library Association
The Camp Dix Library
The soldier at a draft cantonment has many hours of spare time during the week, which are not so numerous at any one moment that he can attend the theatre or go to town, but which nevertheless give him an opportunity to relax and amuse himself.
It is these few hours, rather than days of leave, which are of the most importance in relation to his morale. If he has nothing to do, he may become restless or discontented: and at these times, especially, he needs recreation.
The American Library Association has taken an important step in solving this problem by instituting at each of the cantonments a camp library. This institution, which is pictured above, is completely equipped.
Thousands of books accumulated through the book campaigns, or bought by the Association, are at the soldier's disposal.
If he wishes solely diversion, he may choose from the large supply of books of fiction. Or if he wishes to study some military subject, he may find many technical and reference books.
The best books of fiction, history, biography, travel, science, languages, and military work are on hand. If the demand requires, fifteen or twenty copies of popular works are on the shelves.
For the draft men of foreign birth there are numerous volumes written in foreign languages.
The " war books " written by men who have seen active service in France are the most popular. The American soldier likes to read of such experiences, as they give him a better insight into the life which he is about to enter.
Next in favor are the military manuals and text-books, and those handbooks which are devoted to French and German military terms. Volumes on gas engines, aeroplanes, and those of a technical character are also in great demand.
The librarian at Camp Dix has secured the cooperation of the Trenton Public Library. Any books which the soldier wants are forwarded from Trenton if they are not on hand at the camp.