Q. I was just reading Theodore Jones’ “Carnegie Libraries Across America” (Wiley, 1997) and saw a reference to Gladys Powers who served as the librarian in the Shelbina Carnegie Public Library for 67 years (from 1921 to 1988). Is that a record?
A. I don’t know—but it looks like it might be. Such records simply are not kept. By going through library histories retrieved with a Google search, I have been able to identify several long-term library directors. But this is hardly a definitive or complete search … just anecdotal. It is likely there are many more librarians who have served in their libraries for periods of time like these, some perhaps longer.
Lucedale-George County Public Library (Mississippi)
Alma Lumpkin, 1939-1971 (32 years)
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Ralph Munn, 1928-1964 (36 years)
Middleborough Public Library (Massachusetts)
Mertie A. Witbeck, 1925–1963 (38 years)
Dover Public Library (New Hampshire)
Caroline Garland, 1883-1933 (50 years)
Lincoln County Libraries, Libby, Montana
Inez Ratekin Herrig -1929-1990 (62 years)