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Charlotte Templeton
Photo courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society; Text-Papers, Nebraska Library Commission Archives

Charlotte Templeton

Executive Secretary

Nebraska Public Library Commission, 1906-1919

Charlotte Templeton was hired as the second Executive Secretary for the Nebraska Library Commission and began her duties July 1, 1906. She immediately dove into her duties by assessing what had gone on before and traveling the state to visit normal schools, talking to students, visiting libraries, meeting with the federated women's clubs, and handing out book lists.

Promoting the growth and establishment of libraries throughout the state, a booth at the State Fair in 1909 featured photos of libraries, a traveling library, a school library, a collection of books on special topics, and circulars for distribution to interested by-passers. Traveling libraries were used by the Commission to get books into the hands of readers who had little or no access to libraries. With large populations of Danes, Swedes, Bohemians, and Germans, traveling libraries composed of books in foreign languages became available through donations from ethnic organizations around the state.

Templeton saw a need for librarians to have some formal training. She was responsible for developing a correspondence course on the basic skills needed to run a successful library. Nine librarians signed up when the course became available.

Traveling LibraryProviding reading material for persons in state institutions was a concern that surfaced in 1909. Templeton stated, '. . . it may well be in the province of the Library Commission to undertake this work. In dealing successfully with moral, physical, and even mental defectives, the book may be a powerful agent and in state institutions the library should occupy an important place,' in her Report to the Commissioners, November 30, 1909. She worked successfully to get funding from the Legislature to implement a library program in state institutions.

The work of the Commission grew rapidly under Templeton's guidance. The budget increased from $6000 in 1907 to a request in 1919 for $23,000 for the coming biennium.

Templeton resigned in 1919 to accept a position with the Georgia State Library Commission.

For more information, contact Mary Sauers.