A Love for Literature
The first New Orleans Public Library bookmobile debuted in June of 1940. Bookmobiles traveled the streets of New Orleans for the next 39 years, reaching out to people in neighborhoods that didn’t have their own library branch. The service was needed and enjoyed by many residents of the city but as more neighborhood branches were built, the need for traveling bookmobiles diminished.
Uptown New Orleans was fortunate enough to already have its own library branch. The Napoleon branch (now the Children’s Resource Center) had been serving Uptown since January of 1908. And in the ’40s, a new branch was established on St. Charles Avenue. Donated to the New Orleans Public Library by the Harry Latter family as a memorial to their son, Milton, who lost his life in World War II, the Milton H. Latter Memorial Library was dedicated on October 31, 1948.
The mansion that now houses Latter Library was built in 1907 by Marks Isaacs, and has been home to various people, including silent film star Marguerite Clark. As a library, it has been one of the most popular and busiest branches of NOPL. Countless Uptowners have fond memories of lazy summer afternoons spent reading and attending story times and myriad other functions – even fonder for those who held their weddings there.
Through the years there have been improvements made to the building and post-Katrina, there are some roofing concerns. Thanks to a generous donation from the New Orleans-based Kemper and Leila Williams Foundation, a roofing project is slated for the fall of 2009.