Texas Library Champions

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The First 100 Years

Introduction by Jan Moltzan, a library consultant and co-chair of the ad hoc Centennial Celebration Committee.

As the Texas Library Association celebrates 100 years of service, we look to the preservation of our past by pausing to honor 100 giants who have paved the way by their activities, leadership, and overall support in making a significant contribution to libraries and library service during the period 1902-2002, a contribution that continues to shape the future of Texas.

These champions believed that a literate and educated public was essential to maintaining a democracy. They stood firmly for open access to information and intellectual freedom. They fought gallantly for library funding, the development of library education, and the preservation of history. Many took their passion to the national scene, while others devoted their energies to issues geared to Texas. All embodied the core foundation of modern librarianship that we treasure today.

The selection jury of Julie S. Alexander, Leatrice J. (Lea) Bailey, Dale G. Fleeger, John H. Slate, and Susan K. (Sue) Soy was organizationally chaired by Robert S. Martin and superlatively completed by John H. Slate. A 'call for nominees' was issued, and the jury is indebted to the grassroots effort of nominations received from throughout the state.

The original criteria included consideration of both individuals and organizations. Individuals must have been librarians, library trustees, library advocates, philanthropists or public officials. If living, librarians must have been retired from active (full-time) professional service (employment) to be considered. Units of local or state government were not considered. Nominations were judged on the significance of the contributions made by the nominee. Consideration was given to the length of service or period of contribution, sustained involvement with libraries over time, and impact of their contribution on the local community and/or state.

As the jury applied the criteria and strove to achieve a list that represented library champions from all time periods, regions of the state, and the various specialties within the family of librarianship, the criteria were refined to exclude foundations because they would have comprised the entire list of 100. Throughout the century, Texas libraries have had incredible support not only from foundations, but also the generosity of benefactors - individuals and families  to which they continue to be indebted.

Additionally, emphasis for selection was given to individuals whose impact was on a statewide basis. Scores of individuals have made enormous contributions to local libraries. TLA districts are encouraged to incorporate a regional champion celebration during the 2002 Fall district meetings, which would honor foundations and individuals whose prominent and often heroic contributions have been on the local level. The champions were ultimately selected for their lasting and widespread impact on libraries and library service.

To regard all things in their historical setting appears, indeed, to be an instructive procedure of the modern mind. We do it without thinking, because we can scarcely think at all without doing itWe cannot properly know things as they are unless we know "how they came to be what they are."

C.L. BECKER in the Handbook of Texas Libraries, Number 4.

 Let us celebrate our history by looking back on the dedication and vision that have brought us to where we are today.


Alexander, Elenora
President of TLA (1954-1955), Eleanora Alexander served as director of library services at the Houston Independent School District. She worked tirelessly to develop innovative school library programs in Houston and worked with libraries statewide to bring a sense of community among all types of libraries and to plan for a cohesive library future. She also assisted in the passage of the Library Services Act.

Allen, Winnie
Winnie Allen (1895-1985), The University of Texas archivist and special collections librarian, led the charge to recognize the value of archives, local history, and genealogical materials in both academic and public libraries in Texas and was a founder and first chair of TLA's Archives and Local History Round Table.

Amann, Dorothy
During her tenure as president of TLA (1921-1922), Dorothy Amann, librarian at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, visited Louisiana and the state conference in Oklahoma in order to urge the groups to join with Texas in establishing the Southwestern Library Association. Under her leadership, these states, along with Arkansas and Mexico, and later New Mexico, organized the Association on October 22, 1922.

Amigos Library Services
Created as the AMIGOS Bibliographic Council in 1973 by Texas library leaders, Amigos realized the potential for libraries to join as a consortium and expand what any one library could accomplish alone. Throughout its existence, Amigos has served and supported Texas libraries, helping them bring innovative, creative, and cost-effective technologies and methodologies to the important task of providing library and preservation services to the citizens of Texas.

Andrews, Thelma
Thelma Andrews (1904-1989) was library director at Hardin Simmons University (1923-1956) and the first director (1956-1971) of Abilene Public Library, where she oversaw one of the Texas Major Resource Centers and orchestrated cooperative efforts among Abilene libraries. She handled arrangements for two TLA annual conferences in Abilene (1949 and 1963) and called the first TLA Library Trustee Institute in 1958. A former TLA president (1957-1958), she received the TLA Distinguished Service Award in 1971.

Armstrong, Andrew Joseph
Founder of the Armstrong Browning Library at Baylor University, A. J. Armstrong (1873-1954) spent over 40 years gathering ideas and inspiration for the creation of the now world famous Browning Library, the largest collection of Browning materials in the world. With extraordinary determination and energy, he raised millions of dollars for his dream library that would help strengthen Central Texas' cultural offerings and create one of the state's most impressive special collections.

Bartz, Carol E.
A longtime friend of libraries, Carol Bartz has encouraged volunteerism and corporate giving to libraries. Her unfailing goodwill in promoting libraries, serving on committees, and mobilizing grassroots support has earned her the admiration of her colleagues. A recipient of multiple TLA awards, including Outstanding Services to Libraries (1982), and a current member of the TLA Executive Board, Carol Bartz continues to embody the most dynamic and vocal friend libraries havethe lay advocate.

Bebout, Lois
Known for her "dedication, perseverance and professionalism," Lois Bebout devoted her considerable energies to reference work. She created and edited Texas Reference Sources from a series of articles in the Texas Library Journal in the 1970s. She also edited The Texas List (1962, 1965, 1977-1978), another important Texas resource.She inspired a generation of librarians and helped reinvigorate reference work in Texas. To honor her, the TLA Reference Round Table created the Lois Bebout Reference Award, which recognizes outstanding reference work.

Benson, Nettie Lee
Recognized as an international leader of libraries specializing in Latin American Studies, Nettie Lee Benson (1905-1993) instituted one of the nation's first library school programs on services to Spanish speakers in 1964. Her influence as a scholar-librarian was felt statewide and is reflected in the Latin American Studies Collection she helped build at The University of Texas at Austin and which now bears her name.

Berry, June Kahler
June Kahler Berry is an outstanding advocate of Texas school libraries and administrative leadership. Texas libraries have benefited from Berry's work as a legislative advocate and from the students she has taught at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at The University of Texas at Austin. As the 1998 TLA Distinguished Service Award recipient, Berry's work at the Texas Education Agency profoundly influenced school libraries throughout the state.

Boner, Marian
Marian O. Boner (1909-1983) was the first director of the Texas State Law Library and a professor at The University of Texas School of Law. An authority on Texas legal history, she was one of the first professional law librarians in the state; her vision helped define and shape law libraries and legal librarianship across the country.

Bradshaw, Lillian Moore
During her distinguished career as director of the Dallas Public Library (1962-84), Lillian Bradshaw served as president of TLA (1964-1965) and the American Library Association (1971-1972). In 1975, she was a finalist for Librarian of Congress but requested that her name be withdrawn because she preferred to remain in Dallas. A firm supporter of intellectual freedom and a model administrator of library expansion and planning, she was honored by Texas Woman's University's creation of an endowed chair in library science in her name in 1987.

Brown, Lee
Lee Brown, Mayor of Houston and Library Journal's "Politician of the Year in 1999," attracted statewide and national attention by promoting libraries and library services through the Power Card Challenge. Viewing libraries as "just as important as any agency in city government," he articulated a vision in which every school-age child in Houston had a library card. He also helped pass a waiver of user fees for the seven contiguous counties to Harris County – a feat not duplicated elsewhere in the state.

Bullock, Bob
Bob Bullock (1929-1999) served the State of Texas for 42 years, holding many elected and appointed positions, including Lieutenant Governor. A supporter of libraries throughout his career, Lieutenant Governor Bullock was directly responsible for securing the initial state funding for the TexShare consortium program and the Texas Education Agency's Texas Library Connection. Often called the most powerful office holder in state government, he was a friend to librarians and a benefactor to libraries.

Bush, Laura Welch
A former librarian and public school teacher, Laura Bush is a dedicated supporter of reading and literacy. As First Lady of Texas, she participated in TLA's "Read for Your Life Campaign" and began the Texas Book Festival in 1996, which benefits public libraries. As First Lady of the United States, she has continued her commitment to libraries by leading a national campaign to promote literacy, organizing the first National Book Festival in 2001, and supporting a campaign to recruit new librarians.

Casteñeda, Carlos
A historian, professor, and head of the Genaro Garcia Collection, Carlos Eduardo Castañeda (1896-1958) used his expansive knowledge to create the nucleus of the Latin American studies collections of The University of Texas. His books, Our Catholic Heritage in Texas and Guide to the Latin American Manuscripts in The University of Texas Library, were milestones in Latin American bibliography. The Perry-Castañeda Library at The University of Texas at Austin was named for him and Ervin S. Perry.

Clanton, Cleora
Cleora Clanton (1891-1968), director of the Dallas Public Library (1927-1955), lent her local expertise to library services expansion in Texas including services to minorities, branch library planning, and defending intellectual freedom. Serving as TLA president (1931-1933), she demonstrated that she was a woman of high principles when she protested the exclusion of Black librarians from a hotel during a TLA Conference in the 1930s.

Collins, John
John Collins, a Dallas attorney, is a member of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) Board and has served as the Library Subcommittee chair for TIF. Since his appointment to TIF in 1995, he has passionately and knowledgeably articulated the needs of libraries to that agency. Mr. Collins is a past-president of North Texas Freenet, a non-profit organization devoted to building community networks.

Crabb, Elizabeth
Feisty and tireless, Elizabeth Crabb has been called the "Johnny Appleseed of Texas Libraries." Serving as Coordinator of the Northeast Texas Library System for 18 years, she provided guidance to hundreds of library staff and community leaders. A recipient of major TLA awards and TLA president (1982-1983), she was known for her passionate support for freedom of information and her advocacy for libraries at all levels of government. In 1995, the Elizabeth Crabb Fund was established for legislative advocacy.

Croft, Helen H.
Helen Croft has supported Texas libraries through her involvement in local libraries (Comanche Public Library and the Big Country Library System). On a statewide level, her activities range from assisting in the organization of the Texas White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services to helping establish TLA's Small Community Libraries Round Table. The 1997 TLA Outstanding Services to Libraries Award was presented to Helen for her gallant efforts.

Cuellar, Henry
A highly effective advocate for libraries in the Texas Legislature, Henry Cuellar sponsored and supported a number of legislative initiatives to benefit all types of libraries. He led efforts to gain the first ever state appropriations for school library materials, co-authored legislation to allow public libraries to participate in TexShare, sponsored legislation to create a tuition exemption for the children of librarians and teachers, and supported legislation for all types of libraries.

Curry, Arthur Ray
& WPA
Statewide Library Project
The Works Progress Administration Statewide Library Project in Texas (1935-1942) was the product of a number of dedicated individuals, particularly Arthur Ray Curry (1889-1966). Work relief and other projects were started in 748 school libraries and 42 public libraries, including the opening of 289 libraries and 33 mobile units, and ultimately extending library services to an estimated 150,000 people. The project demonstrated the value of government aid in promoting library service and provided some of the first public library services for Blacks in rural Texas.

Dixon, Genevieve
Genevieve Dixon (1909-1978) served as director of the School of Library Science at Texas Woman's University (1953-1973) and led efforts to make the library school the first ALA accredited program in Texas. Under her direction, the school became the first in the country to have its own facilities and obtained funding for summer institutes for school librarians in 1965 and 1966. She also initiated efforts to offer the Ph.D. degree and expanded program offerings to include specialties in medical, law, and special librarianship.

Dobie, J. Frank
J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964) earned national fame as an author, folklorist, and commentator on Texas life and politics. A lifelong supporter of literature and learning, J. Frank Dobie maintained a strong commitment to libraries throughout his life. He was a strong proponent of education and bequeathed funding for a library trust, which was to provide cash awards to small libraries in Texas to help subsidize the purchase of books. In 25 years of operation, the trust committee has distributed over three quarters of a million dollars.

Douglass, Robert
In 1948, Robert Douglass (1900-1988) became the founding dean of the Graduate School of Library Science at The University of Texas at Austin, where an endowed presidential scholarship has been established in his honor. He was a champion of graduate-level professional education and worked closely with his colleague, Esther Stallmann, to form the Ph.D. program. Recognized for his high standards of scholarship and research, he sought to bring national stature to Texas librarianship. He was awarded the TLA Distinguished Service Award in 1964.

Edwards, Laura
Laura Edwards (1943-1996) epitomized professional involvement and dedication. A state and national leader in school libraries, she energized those around her to promote library services for children. As chair of both the Children's Round Table (CRT) and the Texas Association of School Librarians (TASL), she rallied the school library community and helped carry the message of children and learning to teachers, parents, and the public. Funded by CRT and TASL, the Laura Edwards grant for conference attendance continues her legacy.

Elliott, Leslie Robinson
Leslie Robinson Elliott (1886-1966) developed the library at Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth into a major model of its type and set a standard for theological libraries and librarianship in Texas. His influence extended beyond the state through efforts to establish the American Theological Library Association in 1947 (also serving as president for several terms) and the International Association of Theological Libraries in 1955.

Evans, Sterling C.
Evans (1899-2001), South Texas rancher and library supporter, left a lasting legacy in Texas through his leadership at Texas A&M University. As chairman of the A&M Regents, Evans led efforts to allow women to enroll in the university and later turned his remarkable energies to libraries. Donating over $10 million to improve libraries, he and his wife, Catherine, were strongly committed to developing the Texas A&M University library into one of the state's largest publicly supported academic libraries and led that effort with vision and determination.

Faulk, John Henry
Nationally known humorist, folklorist, entertainer, and supporter of intellectual freedom and First Amendment rights, Faulk (1913-1990) was a CBS radio star and a victim of McCarthy era blacklisting. He devoted much of his later life to advocacy for libraries and promotion of learning as a cornerstone of civil liberty. The Austin Public Library's central facility was renamed in his honor in 1995.

Folmer, Charles Fred
Fred Folmer (1910-1997), director of The University of Texas at Austin Library (1967-1975) and TLA president (1953-1954), helped build the UT library into one of the nation's top academic facilities and made statewide impact through his role as a teacher. He also shared his expertise in library facilities planning and management and contributed to the drafting of the state's Library Systems Act and other significant pieces of state library legislation. In 1962, he received the Librarians of the Year Award to celebrate his achievements.

Franklin, Catheryne S. "Kay"
Kay Franklin (1913-1992) shared her knowledge and love of children's literature with a generation of librarians. A distinguished faculty member of the Graduate School of Library Science (1956-1978) at The University of Texas at Austin, she was known for her generosity in helping young people realize their potential. As TLA president (1972-1973), she remained a vigilant spokesperson for librarianship and also received the TLA Distinguished Service Award.

Friend, Llerena
Llerena B. Friend (1903-1995) deeply influenced Texana collection development through her stewardship of the Barker Texas History Center at The University of Texas at Austin (1950-1969), the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of Texana materials. Now known as the Center for American History, the collection is nationally regarded. Her work developing networking opportunities among public and academic institutions, scholars, and genealogists remains a model for sharing local history collections.

Giddings, Helen
As a member of the Texas House of Representatives, Helen Giddings (Dallas) has supported all types of library programs and worked on several key school library issues. In 1999, she initiated legislative action to direct proceeds from the sale of "Read to Succeed" license plates to school library reading programs. Then in 2001, she became the chief legislative advocate for the school library materials rider, which allocated a state match in funding for local dollars spent on school library materials.

Goree, Edwin Sue
Edwin Sue Goree (1884-1961) was known as "the mother of demonstration libraries and extension loan libraries in Texas." Her work in pioneering library service and advocacy at The University of Texas Library and at the Texas State Library helped establish county and small town libraries. She later served as executive secretary of TLA (1937-1939) and assisted in the People's Library Movement, a predecessor of Friends of Texas Libraries. In 1960, she received TLA's first Distinguished Service Award.

Grothaus, Julia
In addition to presiding over TLA (1940-1941) and other organizations, Julia Grothaus (1886-1976) served as director of the San Antonio Public Library (1933-1957). She guided the library through the severe financial times of the Depression, vastly increased the number of branch libraries, and initiated bookmobile service to the city while staunchly resisting censorship attempts by the city council. Her leadership in library development and intellectual freedom served as a model for librarians across the state.

Guajardo, Luciano
Luciano Guajardo (1923-1994) was the founder of the Laredo Historical Collection and director (1951-1988) of the Laredo Public Library. His love of local history and genealogy led to the creation of one of South Texas' premier special collections, and his pioneering work in services to Spanish speakers continues to be an inspiration to Hispanic communities around the state.

Gunter, Lillian
Lillian Gunter (1870-1926) was a pioneer librarian and founder of the Cooke County Library. A dynamic crusader for library laws, she was architect of the 1917 and 1919 County Free Library Laws of Texas. When the 1917 law was declared unconstitutional, she used her own funds to travel to California to study its library law, which was the basis for the Texas law. She solicited the help of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs to secure passage of the 1919 law. She was TLA president (1918-1919) and co-founded the Southwestern Library Association in 1922.

Hamer, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Marcelle Lively Hamer (1900-1974) headed the Texas Collections at both The University of Texas at Austin (1932-1955) and El Paso Public Library (1955-1965). After retirement, she worked briefly at the Mary Couts Burnett Library, Texas Christian University. A leader in special collections librarianship and Texas and Southwest history, she was also involved in the Texas Folklore Society, where she worked closely with others to increase awareness of the depth and breadth of special collections in the state.

Hankins, Frank D.
Frank Hankins, an early graduate of the Graduate School of Library Science in Austin, began his career in public libraries in Seattle. He returned to Texas and became director of Del Mar College Library until his retirement in 1987. He served as TLA president (1966-1967) and was instrumental in the creation and passage of the Texas Library Systems Act. His approach to resource sharing was best summed up in his response to question which asked what his library would be willing to loan. His reply? "Everything except the drapes." He was the recipient of TLA's Distinguished Service Award in 1998.

Hargrave, Helen
Helen Hargrave (1894-1985), librarian, practicing lawyer, and law professor, set a model for law librarianship in Texas and in the nation. Beginning as the assistant law librarian at The University of Texas law library in 1930 and then as head librarian for 31 years, she built one of the largest academic law libraries in the South and Southwest.

Heath, Patrick R.
Mayor of Boerne, Texas and a former Texas State Library and Archives Commissioner, Patrick Heath understands the important educational, cultural, and informational tools a library can contribute to society. He has been an advocate and leader for public libraries at the local, regional, state, and national level. From issues affecting the Boerne Public Library to the State Library to the American Library Association (ALA), Heath has demonstrated that political championing of library issues achieves results.

Henderson, Betty
Her service as a long-time member of the Advisory Council of the Texas Panhandle Library System, as well as of her own local library and foundation, has helped to improve the library services offered to citizens of the area and throughout Texas. As a strong advocate for libraries, she has kept a constant vigil with her own state legislative representatives and made numerous trips to Austin for Legislative Day and at other times in hopes of raising awareness of the importance of libraries and the need for increased funding.

Henington, David M.
While directing the massive expansion of the Houston Public Library (1967-1995) and helping establish the Houston Area Research Library Consortium (HARLiC), David M. Henington also contributed his leadership to the state library community. He served as president of TLA (1967-1968) and on various Texas State Library Services boards. In 1989, he was appointed co-chair of the Texas Conference on Libraries and Information Services, while continuing to exemplify library leadership across the state.

Hetherington, Jerre and Glen & Family
Jerre Hetherington (1912-1989) was the first full-time TLA executive director (1954-1983). Under her guidance, TLA membership doubled in size, and the Association became nationally recognized. She received the TLA Distinguished Service Award in 1972 and the TLA Outstanding Services to Libraries Award in 1983. Glen, her husband, and children, G. Riley, Linda Claytor, and Janet Murdock, have also been gracious, generous, and tireless supporters of libraries and TLA, particularly involved with the annual Fun Run/Fun Walk. The Hetherington Fund is used for leadership development.

Higley, Luella
Luella Higley, program director for school libraries in the Fort Worth ISD, was among the first librarians in the 1960s to develop a strong school library program.She efficiently managed U.S.Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) funds and developed and documented model procedures, organized services, and willingly shared her experiences withschool librarians across the state. A role modeland an outspoken force for school libraries, sheurged the placement of certified librarians in every school and quality collections in libraries.

Hightower, Jack
Working for Texas citizens from the state government to the U.S. Congress, Jack Hightower has served on the Texas Supreme Court and now serves on the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. A long-time supporter of education and active in the Friends of the Baylor University Library, Jack Hightower has carried to Washington his concern for school libraries and the need to promote them to school administrators.

Hitt, Raymond W.
As director of library development (1973-1987) and assistant state librarian (1987-1999) of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Raymond Hitt played an instrumental role in shaping statewide library services in Texas. His improvements to the interlibrary loan system and his work to establish and secure funding for the Texas Library Systems, along with his encouragement of technological innovations, are legacies of his three-decade career.

Hotho, Donna
Donna Hotho, president and owner of Hotho & Company, has contributed to Texas libraries through sponsorship of the Hotho & Co. Literacy Award given annually to encourage and support the joy and benefits of reading. Additionally, she had taken a personal interest in the development of the profession and has served at the primary corporate sponsor for the TALL Texans Leadership Development Institute, Small Community Libraries Round Table, and several system programs.

Huffman, George E.
George Huffman, as director of learning resources, Amarillo College, is a key leader in innovative projects at his institution as well as among other libraries across the state. His work in the 1970s and 1980s helped create the Harrington Library Consortium, which brought a new model for resource sharing to the region. He also served on the Libraries Advisory Subcommittee for the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) Board and helped realized a vision of stronger library cooperation. He received the TLA Distinguished Service Award in 1999.

Ideson, Julia
Julia Ideson (1880-1945) was a public library pioneer as librarian for the Houston Lyceum and Carnegie Library (1903), supporter of the first municipal bookmobile in Texas, and architect of the County Library Law of 1915. In 1933, she successfully opposed a bill that would have abolished the Texas State Library. She served as TLA president (1910-1911), president of the Southwestern Library Association (1932-1934), and vice-president of ALA (1932). She also edited the 1908 and 1935 editions of the Handbook of Texas Libraries.

Igo, Shirley
A national leader and advocate for children and education, Shirley Igo has been president of both the Texas TPA and national PTA and has deep roots in the Texas education community. A passionate advocate for both Texas libraries and the Texas PTA, she has worked on education reform at both the state and national level. She was honored with the Outstanding Services to Libraries Award in 1975.

Janeway, Ray C.
Director of Texas Tech University Library services (1949 1982), Ray Janeway cultivated the library collection from 50,000 books to over a million volumes. He served three times as TLA president (1959-1960, 1961-1962, and 1980-1981) and championed the work of all types of libraries in Texas. He was recognized as the TLA Librarian of the Year in 1963; the Janeway Scholarship, which honors him, is TLA's major scholarship program.

Johnson, Lyndon Baines
Lyndon Johnson (1908-1973), 36th President of the United States, signed into law a number of legislative initiatives permanently affecting Texas libraries, including the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The act provided for the purchase of more than 30 million new books for libraries nationwide; it also appropriated millions of federal dollars for the construction and expansion of elementary and secondary school libraries in Texas.

Johnson, Siddie Joe
An author, poet, and tireless advocate for children, Siddie Joe Johnson (1905-1977) was children's librarian at the Dallas Public Library from 1938 to 1965. Known for her efforts to bring excellence to children's library services, she was the recipient of the first ALA/Grolier Award given for outstanding contributions to children's librarianship in 1954. Her work is legendary, and she received the TLA Librarian of the Year Award in 1964. The Children's Round Table annually presents an award in her name to an outstanding children's librarian.

Kronick, David
David Kronick had a distinguished career as a medical librarian prior to coming to Texas. He served as chief of the Reference Division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) before accepting an appointment as the first library director at the new University of Texas Medical School in San Antonio, where he served from 1965 until 1984. His massive scholarly output and leadership has made an indelible imprint upon medical libraries in Texas and across the nation.

Lane, Sister M. Claude
Theresa Angela (Sister M. Claude) Lane (1915-1974) was a teacher, librarian, and archivist primarily associated with the Catholic Archives of Texas. A pioneer and supporter of religious special collections in Texas libraries, she has served as a model for archivists nationwide. The Society of American Archivists presents an annual award in her name to recognize significant contributions in the field of religious archives.

League of Women Voters - Texas
Formed in 1919 as a successor to the Texas Equal Suffrage Association, the League of Women Voters has consistently supported legislation that seeks to increase educational opportunities for all Texans and to benefit all types of Texas libraries. Libraries throughout Texas have benefited from the consistent efforts in local communities to improve the quality of library service and education.

Lewis, Zella
Zella Lewis, coordinator of Tyler ISD library services (1965-1981), served as the first K-12 educator for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. She was a member of the TLA Legislative Committee for many years and worked tirelessly to advance state and national legislative support for libraries. A champion for improved school librarian salaries and state aid for school library materials, she was named TLA Librarian of the Year in 1975 and served on the TLA Executive Board.

Love, James and Mary (Mae)
Diboll businessman James L. Love (1912-1985) served as president of Friends of Texas Libraries and the Texas Library Trustee Association. He worked statewide to promote strong public libraries, particularly in small communities. The Temple Foundation endowed a fund in his honor to provide awards for public libraries serving communities of fewer than 10,000 people. Jim Love was recognized with the TLA Outstanding Services to Libraries Award in 1964. A strong supporter of libraries, Mae Love participates on the Dobie Committee, as does daughter, Marty Taylor Love.

Mann, Kathryn
A tireless volunteer and supporter of libraries for over 30 years, Kathryn has organized Friends' groups, served as lay representative and/or chair of the Northeast Texas Library System (1967-1997), and headed TLA's Friends and Trustees Round Table Chair from 1994-1995. The epitome of a southern lady who exudes all the wit and charm necessary to achieve success both locally and throughout the state, Kathryn trusts in the human spirit to focus on the good things in life. As one advocate said, "She is a listener, a dreamer, and a leader."

McAfee, Mary and Charles
Long time participants in TLA's Legislative Day, Mary and Charles McAfee are energetic advocates for libraries at the local, state, and national level. Mary has been a member and chair of the San Antonio Public Library's Board and the Alamo Area Library System's Advisory Council. She participates in Friends activities and the Friends of the Library USA (FOLUSA) and was instrumental in the formation of the TLA's Friends and Trustees Roundtable. She received TLA's Outstanding Services to Libraries Award in 1996. Charles, also a long time library supporter, attends many library events and promotes library services.

Mason, Gertrude Howard
Gertrude Mason (1887-1971), librarian at Wiley College at Marshall, Texas for 42 years, was the first Black professional librarian in Texas to become a member of TLA and was an early inspiration to many African-American librarians in the state. The Wiley Carnegie Library was, at that time, the only building on a campus for African-Americans used exclusively for library purposes.

Medders, Lady Kate
Lady Kate Medders (1888-1975) is considered to be the founder of the University of North Texas School of Library & Information Sciences, established in 1939. Under her leadership, the Department of Library Services grew quickly in enrollment and reputation and soon emerged as a principal supplier of librarians throughout the state. She was an inspiration to students and faculty and the school's guiding spirit until her retirement in 1953. A scholarship fund in her name, built primarily by her former students, continues to support students in the program.

Moore, Mattie Ruth
Mattie Ruth Moore (1902-1995) led efforts in 1946 to establish the first school library supervisor position in the State Department of Education (now The Texas Education Agency). She was persuaded to accept that position and focused on promoting school libraries, training school librarians, and encouraging the establishment of school library certification programs. She left TEA in 1952 to work as a librarian for Dallas ISD, where she became library supervisor and served until her retirement in 1972. A TLA president (1950-51), she was also honored as the 1965 Librarian of the Year.

Moore, William J. (Bill)
A former math teacher and skilled administrator, William Moore became superintendent of Muleshoe ISD in 1991. Through his leadership, school library budgets increased, certified librarians were placed in each school, and library automation was implemented. His insights as a school administrator guided the development of the school library standards in 1996 when he served as a member of the State Library's Advisory Committee on School Library Standards. In 1995, he received TASL's Distinguished Library Service Award for School Administrators.

Mora, Pat
Born in Texas, award-winning author Pat Mora returns often to the stateusually to help libraries in some way. A participant in the "Read for Your Life" campaign, she has also helped libraries through her work with the Texas Book Festival. She also initiated Dìa de los Niños/Dìa de los Libros, which has become the premier program for promoting bilingual reading. With her support, Texas was the first state to embrace this campaign, and libraries in many communities celebrate the importance of reading in many languages through this unique program.

Nichols, Margaret Irby
Nationally known as a reference specialist and extraordinary workshop leader, author, and oral historian, Margaret Irby Nichols is professor emeritus of the School of Library & Information Sciences, University of North Texas. She has held most major TLA offices, including president (1984-1985) and has received abundant awards, including UNT Distinguished Teaching Award in 1991 and 1993 and TLA's Distinguished Service Award in 1990. In 1991, UNT established the Margaret Irby Nichols Endowment and, in 1996, presented her with the award for Distinguished Service to the School.

Parham, Paul
Paul Parham (1928-1986) served as university librarian at Texas Christian University (1965-1986). For a portion of that time, he also held the position of associate dean of the university. Widely respected as a Texas library leader, he shared his experiences at TCU in library remodeling and expansion and computer automation with librarians throughout the state. As TLA president (1976-1977), he was responsible for our only joint meeting with the New Mexico Library Association.

Paris, Janelle A.
Janelle Avenell Paris was a teacher and school librarian before coming to work as a professor in the Library Science Department for the Sam Houston State University in 1974, a position she held until her retirement in 1992. In 1979, through her work with the Children's Round Table and TASL, she created the Texas Bluebonnet Award, which honored outstanding books for third - sixth graders, chosen from an annual reading list. The Award is one of the most prestigious children's award programs in the country. In 1986 she was named Librarian of the Year by TLA.

Phillips, Thelma
After helping to found the Gillespie County Library in the 1960s, Thelma Phillips organized a multi-county organization designed to encourage the development of libraries in Central Texas. When the Texas Library Systems Act was passed in 1969, she served two terms on the state advisory board and helped developed rules and regulations for the 10 Texas library systems. Joining the Arlington Public Library staff in 1973, she retired in 1990 after developing a volunteer program that was a model statewide. In 1971, she was named TLA Librarian of the Year.

Platz, Ella Mae
Ella Mae Platz (1912-1982) was a pioneer in children's library work in Texas and especially in Lubbock, where she worked for 23 years. She developed numerous children's programs, including such innovating work as the "Dial-a-Story" program (1970). She received the first Siddie Joe Johnson Award for children's library services in 1977.

Prather, William
In 1902, 38 charter members of the Texas Library Association elected The University of Texas at Austin president William L. Prather (1848-1905) as its first president. His formidable connections in the world of education helped set TLA's mission and purpose that have guided the organization for 100 years.

Raines, Cadwell
Raines (1839-1906) was appointed librarian of the Texas State Library from 1891-1895 and again from 1899-1906. He took the small and neglected collection, which was decimated by a fire in the Capitol in 1881, and began the task of rebuilding the library and helping establish the future Texas State Archives.

Ransom, Harry
Time Magazine described Harry Ransom (1908-1976) as "one of the liveliest experimenters in U.S. education today." A scholar, teacher, and university administrator known as "the Grand Acquirer," Ransom collected 250,000 rare books, literary and photography collections, and manuscripts to build one of the world's great libraries and archives, the Humanities Research Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

Rogan, Octavia
Octavia Rogan (1886-1973) was a restless promoter and implementer of library services across the state, first at the State Library (1911-1927) and later at the Rosenberg Free Library of Galveston. She also encouraged the development of the Grand Lodge of Texas (Masonic) Library in Waco, the Works Progress Administration library project, Texas A&M University Library, and finally the Extension Loan Library of The University of Texas. She served as TLA president (1917-1918) and left a lasting mark on the state library profession.

Rosenberg, Henry
Henry Rosenberg (1824-1893), Galveston business leader and philanthropist, left a substantial estate to create and maintain the first free public library (1900) in the state. Rosenberg's gift initiated the modern era of free public libraries in Texas, and the Rosenberg Public Library stands as one of the state's most important research centers.

Rotan, Kate
Kate Rotan (1851-1931) paved the way for women and librarians in the state. An activist for women's issues and first president of the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs, she played a large role in establishing Waco's first public library. She led efforts to create the first traveling library in the state and, through her leadership in the Federation, helped craft a framework that was used to organize libraries through the state.

Scheuber, Jennie Scott
Jennie Scott Scheuber (1860-1944), pioneer librarian and civic leader, helped establish the Fort Worth Public Library Association in 1892, a group that sought to establish a public library and art gallery for the city. Their efforts resulted in obtaining a $50,000 Carnegie Grant in July 1899. When the library opened in October 1901, she became the first librarian, a position she held for the next 37 years. She was a leader in the state in establishing children's and branch services. She served two terms as president of the Texas Library Association (1906-07 and 1907-08).

Sellers, Wayne C.
A long-time citizen advocate for libraries, Wayne Sellers has worked for more than three decades for increased state funding for public libraries. A former newspaper editor and journalist, he literally packed his bags and moved to Austin for one legislative session to become a full-time, unpaid lobbyist for libraries. His service on the Advisory Council of the Northeast Texas Library System has helped to advance the development of regional library service in Texas. He received the TLA Outstanding Services to Libraries Award in 1981.

Sheehan, Sister M. Agatha
Mary Louise (Sister Mary Agatha) Sheehan (1899-1967) pioneered Catholic school libraries in Texas. A scholar, teacher, and librarian, she was a regional leader in the Catholic Library Association and helped establish new school libraries, advised librarians at existing ones, and taught library methods. Her continued encouragement and support left a lasting impression of service and collegiality in the library community.

Sherrill, Darwin Leon
An avid library user, reader, and retired federal employee, Darwin Leon Sherrill left his estate to the Texas Library Association upon his death in 1997. During his years in Austin, the staff of the Oak Quarry Branch of the Austin Public Library always found him patiently waiting when the library doors were opened. The Sherrill Fund has been used to expand the headquarters of TLA and to finance Spectrum Scholarships to recruit minority students to Texas library schools and to the profession.

Skinner, Aubrey
Aubrey E. Skinner (1928-1985), chemistry librarian at The University of Texas at Austin General Libraries, held a lifelong passion for the history of Texas libraries of all types. In a task spanning many years and which took him to all corners of the state, he compiled Texas Library History: A Bibliography in 1983. His personal papers continue to provide an invaluable research source for the study of Texas libraries.

Stallman, Esther
Esther Stallmann (1903-1969), a school and academic librarian and library instructor, mentored graduates in their research projects at The University of Texas at Austin. Stallmann was chair of the Texas Council on Library Education. Her research rigor and integrity led her to conduct several statewide surveys of libraries. She chaired the TLA Library Development Committee, which produced the skeletal plan for statewide library development (the framework for the Library Systems Act). An endowed lectureship in her memory continues to honor her.

Sullivan, Maud
During her 30 years as librarian of El Paso Public, Maud Sullivan (1872-1943) stood as a towering figure for early 20th century women in the library profession. An innovator in library services to Spanish speakers and library-sponsored art programs, she aggressively developed and promoted library programs which delivered books and library services in new ways. During her two terms as TLA president (1923-1925), she founded the library NewsNotes, which was to become the Texas Library Journal.

Terrell, Mary Peters Young
When the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs was organized in 1897, Mary Terrell (1846-1920), a co-founder of the group, led the organization's successful library movement which resulted in the creation of numerous public libraries across the state and was the impetus for the founding of the Texas Library Association and the Texas Library and Historical Commission. She was appointed to the first Commission (1909 1911) and is generally regarded as the leading force behind the library movement in Texas. She was known within the Federation as "Mother of Libraries."

Texas Book Festival
During its first years (1995-2001), the Texas Book Festival has awarded more than $1 million in grants to the majority of public libraries in Texas. All proceeds from this extraordinary literary event support the public libraries of the Lone Star State; and the activities showcase a statewide celebration of reading, Texas authors, and Texas presses of every type.

Texas Center for the Book
The Texas Center for the Book was established at the Dallas Public Library in 1987 to serve as a catalyst for supporting books and reading throughout Texas. Originally endowed by the Ida M. Green Estate, the Center has collaborated with the TASL in sponsoring the "Letters About Literature" student essay contest since 1996. One of 44 state centers affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the Texas Center provides statewide leadership supporting books, reading, and libraries, as well as increasing public awareness of the printed word.

Texas Federation of Women's Clubs
The voluntary, nonprofit Texas Federation of Women's Clubs has served as an unwavering champion for Texas public libraries since its inception. At the organization's first annual meeting in 1898, a resolution was passed stating that the establishment of public free libraries in Texas was the primary work of the Federation. This early library movement resulted in the establishment of a vast number of libraries across the state. Its persistent efforts were also the impetus for the creation of the Texas Library Association in 1902 and the Texas Library and Historical Commission in 1909.

Texas Parent Teacher Association
The Texas Parent Teacher Association has been an advocate and defender of school libraries in Texas since its formation in 1909 and mirrors the goals of the National PTA. The PTA of Texas works to help build better schools and to promote the interaction of parents and their children's educators.

Tocker, Darryl and Family
The Tocker family established a philanthropic foundation in 1964 and, in 1992, they began focusing grant efforts on small rural public libraries. Not only has the foundation been an extraordinary benefactor to libraries, its Board of Directors, and particularly its executive director, Darryl Tocker, have carefully researched library and community technology to better assist libraries. Members of the Tocker family are generous and caring members of the library community who participate in countless roles that help improve library service throughout the state.

Wallace, J.O.
A pioneer committed to establishing and providing high quality services in community college libraries, J. O. Wallace used his 35-year association with San Antonio College to improve libraries around the state, as well as serving as founding president of the Council of Research and Academic Libraries (CORAL) in 1966. He served as TLA president (1983-1984) and received the Distinguished Service Award in 1991.

Wells, Rosemary
Rosemary Wells was born in New York City and grew up on the New Jersey Shore. Her career as an author and illustrator spans more than 30 years and 60 books. A frequent participant in Texas library and book events, she has articulated an on-going commitment to help Texas libraries in need. Through her donations of original art illustrations, she provided the initial impetus to establish the TLA Disaster Relief Fund, a program designed to raise funds that can be used to help libraries recovering from disasters of all types.

West, Elizabeth Howard
Elizabeth Howard West (1873-1948) came to the Texas State Library as an archivist in 1911, a position she held until 1915 when she became director of the Carnegie Library in San Antonio. She returned to the Texas State Library as its director (1918-1925) and became the first woman to head a department in state government. From 1925 until 1942, she was director of Texas Tech College Library. She served two terms as president of TLA (1914-15 and 1915-1916) and was one of the organizers and first president of the Southwestern Library Association in 1922.

Whitten, Sam and Virginia
Sam Whitten, a public librarian and educator, and his wife, Virginia, school librarian in Eanes ISD, worked tirelessly to promote library services in Texas. Sam's classes in public librarianship and intellectual freedom were consistently among the most popular at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at The University of Texas at Austin. Both he and Virginia were energetic advocates for library funding and legislation favorable to libraries. Sam Whitten was TLA president (1968-1969) and received the TLA Distinguished Service Award in 1986.

Windsor, Phineas
Despite a short career in Texas, Phineas Windsor (1871-1965), The University of Texas librarian, helped draft the legislation establishing the Texas Library Commission and took a leading part in forming TLA. His survey of library needs in Texas resulted in "The Library Situation in Texas," presented at the ALA conference of 1907. This study and many other early articles on professional librarianship in the state provide a testament to his widespread influence in the library profession.

Winkler, Ernest
Ernest Winkler (1875-1960), bibliographer, state librarian and librarian of The University of Texas, helped expand state government support of Texas libraries under the newly established Texas Library and Historical Commission. He served as first editor of Texas Libraries and participated in one of the largest bibliographical projects on Texana ever undertaken, Streeter's Bibliography of Texas, 1795-1845 (1956, 1960). He also editedCheck List of Texas Imprints, 1846-1860 (1949). He was TLA president for three terms (1911-1915).

Woll, Christina
Christina Woll spread her influence and organizational skills widely, from city council woman to library champion. A member of TLA's Executive Board, she rallied for establishing high professional and ethical standards for librarianship. As chair of TASL, she continued her work promoting services to children and served as the Texas Bluebonnet Award coordinator from 1990 until her untimely death in 1996. The Christina Woll Fund provides grants to school and public libraries for books.

Wyche, Benjamin
Benjamin Wyche (1869-1936) was librarian at The University of Texas during the critical formative period of the Texas Library Association. During his tenure (1897-1903), he developed the library's collection by encouraging gifts to the university, such as the Swante Palm Library of 10,000 volumes, and began the process 
of adding to the original collection of only 17,000 items. Today, UT has one of the largest library collections in the country.

Yarborough, Ralph
Ralph Yarborough (1903-1996), a U.S. Senator from 1957-1971, sponsored and supported landmark legislation directly affecting libraries and library services, including the National Defense Education Act of 1958, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965), the Higher Education Act (1965), and the Bilingual Education Act (1967). A powerful speaker and a presenter at library functions such as the Texas Pre-White House Conference on Libraries and TLA annual conference, he encouraged librarians and library supporters to lobby for library issues.

Young, Heartsill
Throughout his distinguished career, Heartsill Young was a statewide role model and mentor to three generations of librarians and library school students. He served as TLA president (1965-1966), and organized and co-chaired the First Texas Governor's Conference on Libraries, an important step toward achieving statewide library systems in Texas. He also helped author the Texas Library Systems Act (1969) and developed rules and regulations. He was named Librarian of the Year in 1970 and received the Distinguished Service Award in 1987.

The ad hoc Centennial Celebration Committee extends its sincerest thanks to the Summerlee Foundation for supporting the Champions Project. Their generous contribution will allow us to fully celebrate all of those individuals who have helped make Texas libraries great. The Committee also thanks all the librarians and library supporters who offered names and submitted biographical information used in 
compiling this article.


Reprinted from the Texas Library Journal, Spring 2002; Volume 78, Issue 1.

Created on Apr 7, 2010 | Last updated March 07, 2017