Category Archives: Librarian Spotlight

Burton E. Stevenson: ALA Representative in Europe

Burton Egbert Stevenson (1872-1962) was surprised to find himself named the foremost ALA representative in Europe for the Library War Services campaign during the first World War.  A college dropout from Princeton University and aspiring novelist, he fell into the library profession after marrying Chillicothe Public Librarian, Elisabeth Shephard Butler and accepting a librarian position […]

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Miss “Public Libraries” Mary Eileen Ahern

Festschrifts are a common way to honor someone in academia, and line the shelves of many academic libraries. They typically contain academic essays related to the person’s life work, contributed traditionally by the person’s former doctoral students and colleagues. But what about a Festschrift that’s instead full of nothing but praise for the person being […]

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Have you a card catalog? Katharine L. Sharp’s Catechism for Librarians

The more things change, the more they stay the same, or so you will think when you look at this laundry list of key considerations Katherine L. Sharp outlines for someone setting up a library in her writing “Catechism for Librarians.” Unlike a religious Catechism, she outlines not what to believe but a series of questions […]

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“The Best Man in America is a Woman”: Katharine L. Sharp and the First “Lady Librarians”

For an educated woman at the turn of the century, there were few options for a intellectually satisfying career, as Katharine L. Sharp discovered as a newly minted college graduate in 1885. She taught foreign languages at a high school in Illinois for two years, but then she took a position as Assistant Librarian at […]

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Madam President

Before women were allowed to vote in US elections, the American Library Association found its leadership in Theresa West Elmendorf.  In 1911, over thirty years after the founding of the ALA, Elmendorf was elected the first female president of the association.

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