Thursday, June 30, 2011

MARY HUNT DANA (1913-1984)

So far in June, I have profiled two librarians (Edith Rees and Adele C. Martin who were active in the Library Employees Union and also served as head of an NYPL branch. Mary H. Dana not only followed that pattern (she was Treasurer of the LEU, 1947-1948, and headed three branches) but she also became an important administrator in the NYPL Circulation Department.

Mary Dana was born in Maine and graduated from the Westbrook Junior College in Portland, in 1936.  She worked at the Portland Public Library, 1939-1941.  She then moved south to attend the New Jersey College of Women (now Douglass College) where she received her library degree in 1942. 

Dana joined NYPL in 1942 and served as head of the Mott Haven (1948-1953), West Farms (1953-1958), and Grand Concourse (1958-1961) branches.  She then became an administrator heading up the Book Order and Processing Office, 1962-1963, and was promoted to Assistant Chief of the Circulation Department in 1963, a position she held until her retirement at the end of 1975.    Dana then returned to Maine.

Dana’s name lives on in the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series at Douglass College.  In 1987 Nelle Smither (1909-????) a professor of English at Douglass endowed the lecture series in honor of her friend.  Dana and Smither were roommates in New York City 1948-1954 and twice travelled to Europe together during that time period.   

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