In 1854, William Howard Day (1825-1900) became the first African American to serve as librarian for the Cleveland Library Association, a subscription library organization in which members paid a fee to use its services. Mr. Day, a graduate of Oberlin College, helped found Livingstone College (Salisbury, NC) and the African Aid Society. In addition, he was an abolitionist, the editor of the Cleveland True Democrat, editor of Zion's National Standard and Weekly Review, editor of the Aliened American, and in 1850 elected president of the National Board of Commissioners of the Colored People. Mr. Day passed away in 1900 at the age of 75.
Sources: "Day, William Howard." Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University, 15, Jul. 1997. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. ; Mealy, Todd. "William Howard Day: A Mid-State Civil Rights Leader Forgotten by Time." Patriot-News 26 Feb. 2011. PennLive.com. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. ; Josey, E.J. "Foreword." Educating Black Librarians: Papers from the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the School of Library and Information Sciences, North Carolina Central University. Ed. Benjamin F. Speller, Jr. Jefferson: McFarland, 1991. vii. Print. ; Cramer, C.H. Open Shelves, Open Minds: A History of the Cleveland Public Library. Cleveland: Case Western Reserve U P, 1972. 4. Print. ; Dooley, Dennis. "C.H. 'Red' Cramer, Historian, 1902-1983." The Cleveland Arts Prize. The Cleveland Arts Prize, 2003. Web. 26 Feb. 2011. ; "Little Known Facts About Cleveland." Jet 7.3 (Nov. 25, 1954): 12. Print.