I don't have much of it done yet but this is what I have so far.
The historiography of different projects that the Works Projects Administration put out for children is an interesting one. Historians, such as Daryl Webb, Bayrd Still, and Robert Mennel debate about how this topic should be addressed. Webbs's approach is a new comparative version, compared to Still and Mennel. Mennel's approach is that of a juvenile delinquency historian. Where Still is more of a traditionalist in his reasoning.
Webb in his article, "Scooter, Skates & Dolls: Toys against Delinquency in Milwaukee," he describers why the toy libraries were opened. That juvenile delinquency was on the rise sine 1935 with a "wave of youth crime.1 Webb also mentions the different groups that were against the program. There people were also against larger WPA projects. Conservative business people and other conservative Americans, felt that these type of projects were a "drain of money from the private sector and hindered economic recovery."2 Webb approaches the topic of the New Deal creating projects for the youth as an opportunity to give them a chance to be children by giving them toys to fill their idle hands.
In his book Milwaukee: The History of a City, Still states that there was an increase in enrollment of students in the public school system. He then goes on to say that children were staying in school longer then they were during the 1870's. He continues with citing different reasons as to why children were staying in school longer, demand for child labor decreasing, and state legislation changing in favor of child welfare. 3
1.Darly Webb, "Scooter, Skates, & Dolls: Toys against Delinquency in Milwaukee," Wisconsin Magazine of History Vol. 87, No. 4 (Summer, 2004): 4.
2. Darly Webb: 12.
3. Bayrd Still, Milwaukee: The History of a City, (Madison: The States Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1948): 439.