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POWER, EFFIE LOUISE

POWER, EFFIE LOUISE (12 Feb. 1873--8 Oct. 1969) was the first children's librarian at the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY (CPL), and taught courses in library science and literature for CHILDREN AND YOUTH. At the request of the American Library Association, she wrote one of the first major textbooks on children's library work (1928). Power was born in Conneautville, PA, to Francis Billings and William Ellis Power. She graduated from Cleveland's CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL (1892) and the Carnegie Library School, Pittsburgh, PA (1904). During WORLD WAR I she served with the Red Cross. Before leaving for positions in Pittsburgh and St. Louis, Power worked in Cleveland for about a decade. She was children's librarian for CPL (1898-1903), library science instructor in library science and children's literature for the Cleveland Normal School (1903-08), and lecturer at Western Reserve University's Library School (WRU, 1904-11, see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY). During this first tenure at CPL, Power and vice-librarian LINDA EASTMAN created the Children's Library League which emphasized the responsibilities of readership to young library users.

Power returned to Cleveland for a brief stint as librarian of Central High School. In 1920 she came back to CPL as director of work with children. Under her direction, CPL's training program developed into a graduate program in library science. She then became as assistant professor of library science at WRU. In 1926 she took children's books to the streets with the Book Caravan, a precursor of the bookmobile. Power retired from CPL in 1937. In "retirement" she taught at Columbia University, served as librarian in Pompano Beach, FL, and continued her avocation, writing fiction for children. In addition to local and national professional associations, Power belonged to the WOMEN'S CITY CLUB of Cleveland. An authority on children's literature, she collected rare children's books and enjoyed GOLF.


Power, E. L. and Florence Everson. Early Days in Ohio.

Power, E. L. Stories and Programs for Story Hours (1925).

-----------. Library Service for Children (1930).