Day Seventeen of the CMLE Summer Fun Library Tour!

Logo The Librarians

We all know that library people are just fascinating! There is no doubt about that: just look around the profession to see some of the people who have worked in libraries. All of us are adding to the interesting nature of the profession, but we probably all know these people:

(Excerpted from “Top 25 most famous librarians in history“)

  • 1. Ben Franklin: Ben Franklin didn’t sit behind a circulation desk and help college kids find research materials, but he is still a legitimate librarian. In 1731, Franklin and his philosophy group Junto organized the “Articles of Agreement,” which set up the nation’s first library. Their library, called The Library Company, was first meant to benefit only the members of Junto, so that they could share books on the issues they discussed during meetings. It was organized as a subscription library, and members of Junto payed a small fee to retrieve books.
    Franklin was actually the second librarian, and the Company grew to include more books than most university libraries at the time, plus artifacts like coins and fossils. Over time, The Library Company granted access to members of the Second Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and others.
  • 3. Eratosthenes: The Greek scholar Eratosthenes discovered the system of latitude and longitude and made significant contributions to astronomy. Eratosthenes was also the chief librarian of the Great Library of Alexandria.
  • 7. Golda Meir: Golda Meir was the fourth prime minister of Israel, from 1969-1974. She was also one of the twenty-four who signed the Israeli declaration of independence in 1948; an ambassador to the Soviet Union; Minister of Labour from 1949-1956, and the inspiration for the Broadway play Golda, which starred Anne Bancroft. Before her distinguished political career, however, Golda Meir worked as a librarian. {Mary’s Note: I worked in the Golda Meir library when I was getting my library degree at the University of Milwaukee!)
  • 8. J. Edgar Hoover: As the legendary director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover led domestic investigations from 1924-1972, as head of the Bureau of Investigation and when he founded the FBI in 1935. In his early life, however, Hoover went to night school at George Washington University and supported himself by working at the Library of Congress. There, he was a messenger, cataloguer and clerk. In 1919, Hoover left the Library of Congress and worked as a special assistant to the Attorney General.
  • 15. Beverly Cleary: Popular children’s book author Beverly Cleary wrote the Ramona Quimby books and Henry Higgins books and has received three Newbery Medals. But before she became a celebrated author, Beverly grew up in a tiny town in Oregon, where her mother asked the State Library to send books to their farm. During the Depression, Beverly went to junior college in California and later attended the University of California at Berkeley. She then attended the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington, Seattle, and became a children’s librarian.
  • 17. Madeleine L’Engle: American author Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time is still a popular book among junior high students and almost like a rite of passage for young fiction readers. She has won multiple Newbery Medals and other awards, but later in life, she served as the librarian and writer-in-residence at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
  • 20. Joanna Cole: Joanna Cole’s The Magic School Bus series has served to educate and entertain elementary-aged children about the human body, space, and more. She has also worked as a librarian, a schoolteacher, book editor and writer/producer of the BBC children’s TV show Bod.

Leave a Reply