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WOUB is partnering with libraries to screen KET’s The Pack Horse Librarians of Appalachia during National Family Literacy Month

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ATHENS, OH – WOUB Public Media is partnering with two libraries in the region to mark National Family Literacy Month in November with screenings of The Pack Horse Librarians of Appalachia. The half-hour documentary film, produced by Kentucky’s statewide media network KET, tells the courageous story of the women hired by the Franklin Roosevelt’s Work Progress Administration (WPA) to travel on horseback to deliver library books and magazines to people in Eastern Kentucky, braving creeks, mountains and inclement weather along the way.

“We are honored that KET has given us the opportunity to screen this film in WOUB’s Appalachian region,” said WOUB Community Engagement Manager Cheri Russo. “As public media organizations in Appalachia, both KET and WOUB know it’s important to shed light on the important stories and great accomplishments done by the people of this region, and this film truly does that.”

In the 1930s, with the United States facing the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt looked for ways to help Americans find work by creating jobs through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). While many jobs were designed for men, Eleanor Roosevelt reminded policymakers that women were also in need of work. As a result, the WPA looked to expand culture and the arts in the country, often by encouraging the expansion of libraries. The WPA discovered a project that had originated in Kentucky in 1913, and the result was the formation of the Pack Horse Library. While people across the nation were encouraged to send books and magazines to the WPA’s newly formed libraries, the heart of the program was the Pack Horse women, who were hired to ride horses with saddlebags loaded with these books, taking this traveling library to the people living in the hills of their community.

The Pack Horse Librarians of Appalachia chronicles the strength and bravery of these women as they rode through dense forests and over creek beds where roads did not exist and where danger lurked around every corner, delivering the treasures they carried and bringing the world to the homes of fellow Kentuckians. The program premiered in May 2022 and is funded in part by a grant from the Carolyn Tassie Memorial Fund.

The film will be screened in person at the Muskingum County Library System in Zanesville on November 8 at 11:30 a.m. as part of a Lunch & Learn event and both in-person and virtually at the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library on November 15 at 6 p.m.

The film will also air on WOUB HD on Thursday, November 17 at 11 p.m.


About KET

KET is Kentucky’s largest classroom, where learning comes to life for more than two million people each week via television, online and mobile. Learn more about Kentucky’s preeminent public media organization at, on Twitter @KET and at