A.L.A President (2013-14) Barbara Stripling’s Presidential Initiative Libraries Change Lives produced a great amount of posters from libraries across the country that have recently arrived at the A.L.A. Archives.
During the 1975 American Library Association Annual Conference, Clara Stanton Jones was announced as the Vice-President and President-Elect of the American Library Association. Her term as President would start during the ALA’s 1976 Centennial Conference, a fitting celebration for the first African American President of the ALA.
Her experience as Director of the Detroit Public Library and personality made her well suited for the position of ALA President. E.J. Josey noted that: “Her years of service in the trenches in Detroit before being appointed director of the library system provided her with management skills as well as a desire to love and serve her fellow human beings.” Jones’ career took her all over the world, but most of her activities were community driven, working on the revitalization and cultural development of Detroit. Continue reading “Clara S. Jones: “Awareness is Not Burdened with Repression; It is Liberating””
To continue our blog series highlighting pioneering women librarians, this next post will focus on Mary Wright Plummer (1856-1916). A member of Melvil Dewey’s first class in librarianship at Columbia College, Plummer went on to establish an impressive career in librarian education, children’s librarianship, and international librarianship, and served as the ALA’s 2nd female president from 1915-1916.
Born to a Quaker family, Plummer attended Wellesley College from 1881-1882, studying languages and creative writing. Her librarianship career began when she enrolled at the age of 30 in “the first class in library science on the planet”, Melvil Dewey’s 1887 class in the School of Library Economy at Columbia College. Distinguishing herself immediately in her studies, she was selected to present her experience in library school at the American Library Association’s 1887 meeting (“The Columbia College School of Library Economy from a Student’s Standpoint,” printed in Library Journal, September-December 1887). Continue reading “Mary Wright Plummer”
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.