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ERIC Number: EJ980030
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-2166-160X
Mary E. Hall: Dawn of the Professional School Librarian
Alto, Teresa
School Library Monthly, v29 n1 p11-13 Sep-Oct 2012
A century ago, a woman named Mary E. Hall convinced school leaders of the need for the professional school librarian--a librarian who cultivated a love of reading, academic achievement, and independent learning skills. After graduating from New York City's Pratt Institute Library School in 1895, Hall developed her vision for the high school library while working in the institute's new public children's library. She fulfilled her vision for libraries after she began working at Girls' High School in Brooklyn in 1903, where she created what she called "the modern high school library." Hall's library at Girls' High School, one of the city's first public high schools, was very much a school library and a library in a school. As Hall developed the library, she and other early school library leaders successfully convinced educators that library skills--principally reference and research--should be taught. Just as important as library skills was the love of reading. As a member of the National Council of Teachers of English Committee on Home Reading, Hall was one of the most significant leaders in promoting recreational reading for high school students. Hall's library was held up as a much-lauded national model, and Mary Hall became, in AASL historian Patricia Pond's estimation, "the outstanding leader in the school library movement." Hall's promotion of school librarians is particularly timely now. A century ago, educators recognized that if they wanted students to enjoy reading, to become self-reliant citizens who could intelligently research current events, and to become lifelong learners, they needed school librarians. Today, with a student body arguably more at risk for functional illiteracy and lacking critical thinking skills, school systems and state legislators are reneging on that commitment.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A