In 1898, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main established the first organized Children’s Department in a public library. On October 1, 1900, it greeted five students as a training school for children’s librarians. Though the training has moved to the University of Pittsburgh’s Library and Information Sciences program, CLP has helped to nurture budding librarians ever since.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh also has a proud history of supporting local children’s authors. And, bringing that history full circle, some of those authors have also been children’s librarians!
Check out some of the children’s authors who’ve graced the shelves over the years–and here’s hoping there will be many more.
Elva S. Smith (1871-1965). A Head of the Boys and Girls Room (now the Children’s Department) as well as a professor of children’s literature, she is best known for “The History of Children’s Literature.”
Margaret Mary Kimmel (1938-2014). A storyteller, librarian, and professor at the University of Pittsburgh’s Library and Information Sciences program, she is known for “Magic in the Mist” (whose protagonist bears a remarkable resemblance to a certain boy wizard).
Sally Hobart Alexander The author of several memoirs about her experiences as a blind woman, she is also known for “She Touched the World: Laura Bridgman, Deaf-Blind Pioneer.”
Jonah Winter Though he currently lives in New York, the prolific author of picture book biographies lived in Pittsburgh for a spell. His biographies focus on artists and athletes, such as “Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
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