Saturday, January 28, 2012

Clara Stanton Jones: ALA's First African American President

In July 1976, Clara Stanton Jones (1913-2012) became the first African American president of the American Library Association. In addition, Ms. Jones was the first African American female director of the Detroit Public Library. Ms. Jones once worked as a reference librarian at Dillard University (1938-1940) and an associate librarian at Southern University (1940-1944). She began her career at the Detroit Public Library in 1944, and served as the library's director from 1970 until her retirement in 1978.

Sources: "Detroit's Top Librarian: In Race to Make City Libraries Serve Today's Needs, No One Keeps Up with Mrs. Jones." Ebony 27.1 (1971): 115-116, 118, 120, 122. Print. ; "ALA Past Presidents." American Library Association. American Library Association, n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. ; Battles, David M. The History of Public Library Services to African Americans in the South or, Leaving Behind the Plow. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2009. 145. Print. ; Josey, E.J. "A Dreamer-- With A Tiny Spark." The Black Librarian in America. Ed. E.J. Josey. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1970. 323. Print. ; Dawson, Alma. "Celebrating African American Librarians and Librarianship." Library Trends 49.1 (2000): 58. Print. ; Jones, Clara S. "The Black Librarian." The Black Librarian in the Southeast: Reminiscences, Activities, Challenges. Ed. Annette L. Phinazee. Durham: NCCU School of Library Science, 1980. 16-19. Print. ; McPheeters, Annie L. Library Service in Black and White: Some Personal Recollections, 1921-1980. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1988. 132. Print. ; Jordan, Casper Leroy and Josey, E.J. "A Chronology of Events in Black Librarianship." Handbook of Black Librarianship. Ed. E.J. Josey and Marva L. DeLoach. 2nd ed. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2000. 11-14. Print. ; Poinsett, Alex. "1976: Year of the Black Voter." Ebony 32.3 (1977): 85. Print. ; Garner, Carla W. "Jones, Clara Stanton (1913-).", n.d. Web. 21 Feb. 2011. ; DeLoach, Marva. "Clara Stanton Jones." Women of Color in Librarianship: An Oral History. Ed. Kathleen de la Pena McCook. [Chicago]: ALA, Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship, 1998. 28-57. Print.  ; Bobinski, George S. Libraries and Librarianship: Sixty Years of Challenge and Change, 1945-2005. Lanham: Scarecrow, 2007. 100. Print.

Update 10/04/2012:

On Sunday, September 30, 2012, Ms. Clara Stanton Jones passed away at the age of 99 in Oakland, California. She received her Bachelor of Library Science (BLS) from the University of Michigan in 1938.

Update 01/03/2013:

On December 27, 2012, Maurice Wheeler wrote an article in tribute to Ms. Clara Stanton Jones for Library Journal (Online):

Wheeler, Maurice. "Remembering Clara Stanton Jones: Backtalk." Library Journal (Online). Library Journal, 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 3 Jan. 2013.

Update 03/19/2013:

See related posts: The E. Azalia Hackley Collection of Negro Music, Dance, and Drama (Detroit Public Library) and Marcus Bruce Christian, Louisiana Librarian.

Sources: Laitner, Bill. "Clara Stanton Jones: First Woman, First African American to Lead Detroit Library." Detroit Free Press (Online). Detroit Free Press, 3 Oct. 2012. Web. 3 Oct. 2012. ; Goldberg, Beverly. "Library Mentor and Pioneer Clara Stanton Jones Dies." Inside Scoop: News and Views from Inside ALA.  American Library Association, 3 Oct. 2012. Web. 3 Oct. 2012. ; "Clara Stanton Jones: Significant Figure in Librarianship and Her Husband Honored with Scholarship." SI@umich 32 (2007):1, 5. Print. ; Schwartz, Meredith. "Obituary: Clara Stanton Jones, Detroit Director and ALA President."  Library Journal (Online). Library Journal, 3 Oct. 2012. Web. 4 Oct. 2012. ; Wheeler, Maurice. "Remembering Clara Stanton Jones: Backtalk." Library Journal (Online). Library Journal, 27 Dec. 2012. Web. 3 Jan. 2013.

Update 05/04/2013:

Today, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the results of its 2013 election. The winning candidate for the office of ALA president is Courtney Young. When she takes office, Ms. Young will be the fifth African American to serve as president of ALA. Her term as president will be 2014-2015.
Sources: Kempf, JoAnne. "Young Wins ALA Presidency." ALA News. American Library Association, 3 May 2013. Web. 3 May 2013. ; "ALA Election Results: Young Wins President, Gonzalez Treasurer;  Dues Measure Passes by Wide Margin." INFOdocket., 3 May 2013. Web. 3 May 2013. ; Borman, Laurie. "Young Wins 2014-2015 ALA Presidency." Inside Scoop. American Library Association, 3 May 2013. Web. 3 May 2013.

Update 10/06/2014:
On September 30, 2014, Tom Joyner's BlackAmerica Web featured an article by D.L. Chandler in its "Little Known Black History Fact" column on Clara Stanton Jones. To view, click on the following link:

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