1909 OR/WA Library Conference?

Was the first OLA conference actually held in 1909 instead of 1942? 

Well, no…  It turns out that the letter below actually is in regards to the creation of the Pacific Northwest Library Association (PNLA), which was formally established in Seattle during a three day conference in June 1909, rather than the first Oregon Library Association (OLA) conference that was held in 1942.

I ran across the  letter below in the State Library during a recent search for past OLA conference programs. This 1909 invitation letter is from Cornelia Marvin, the State Library’s first librarian, to Adelaide Lilley, the first librarian of the Carnegie Library of Eugene, better known today as the Eugene Public Library, to attend a “joint meeting of the Oregon-Washington Association in Seattle.”

Some interesting facts about Adelaide is that she trained to become a librarian at the age of 47 after the death of her husband in 1904, and served as a librarian at the City Library of Eugene when it first opened on August 20th, 1906, until she died in 1933.

Also interesting to note are the members of the Oregon Library Commission, which include Oregon’s Governor (George E. Chamberlain), State Superintendent (J. H. Ackerman), President of the University (P. L. Campbell), Librarian of the Portland Library (Mary F. Isom), W. B. Ayer, and Secretary of the Oregon Library Commission Cornelia Marvin (and as mentioned before, the State Library’s first librarian).

1909 Invitation

1909 Invitation (Photo taken with phone camera, please excuse the poor quality.)


About repplinger

John has served as a Reference Librarian at Willamette University since 2002. He is the liaison to the Science Departments, and is responsible for maintaining the collections related to the life & physical sciences. His research interests range over the entire spectrum of libraries and information sciences, but includes: - Google and its influence on information & society - The Internet's influence on information seeking & sharing behaviors - Trends of scholarly communication - Electronic learning environments - Traditional pedagogy - GIS use in academic libraries

Posted on May 22, 2012, in Libraries, Oregon Library Association and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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