Tuesday, March 22, 2011

ROBERT SCOTT AKE (1913-1985)

Robert S. Ake, who started at NYPL in 1946, was promoted to Branch Librarian at the 115th Street Branch in 1948.  Not only was this a very rapid rise through the ranks, but it also made him the first man to head a NYPL branch since 1916.

In 1913 (the year of Ake’s birth) Edwin H. Anderson became Acting Director of NYPL and started to name men as Branch Librarians.  As a result of Anderson’s efforts, three men were named to head a branch in the years 1913-1916.  This experiment was regarded as a failure, and no other man held that position until Ake’s appointment, 32 years later. 

Ake resigned from NYPL in 1952 to become a Library Consultant for the State of Connecticut Department of Education, next served as Assistant Director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library (1958-1964) and was Director of the Finkelstein Memorial Library in Spring Valley NY (1964-1972). 

March 22nd would be the 98th birthday of Robert Ake.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bob,

    Thought this might make a nice addition to your posting: I have an unpublished document entitled Proposed Use of Films and Film Information in The New York Public Library (May 1948) written by Robert S. Ake. It was originally submitted "in partial requirement of the requirements for Grade IV in The New York Public Library," but I discovered it when moving the 16mm film collection from the Donnell branch. It's been invaluable in my writings and research on public library 16mm film collections and is one of my very favorite texts.

    Best wishes,
    Elena Rossi-Snook
    Reserve Film and Video Collection (Donnell Film Library)
    The New York Public Library