Thursday, July 28, 2011
HOWARD FRANCIS (JACK) RICKERT (1908-1991)
In 1948, Ralph A. Beals, NYPL Director, sought to end the tradition that all NYPL children’s librarians were women, and he asked the Dean of the Pratt library school to recommend a man to work in that specialty. The Dean thought of Howard F. Rickert, who had been employed at NYPL since graduating from Pratt in 1939. The Dean wrote to Beals that Rickert “was not much of a student, but he has a marvelous manner in dealing with people. Also he is devoted to NYPL, and I believe he would respond to the challenge this particular job would present.”
At the time Rickert was a First Assistant, and his previous work had been in adult services. For whatever reason he did not become a children’s librarian.
In May 1950 Howard Rickert was promoted to Branch Librarian. This made him only the second man to head an NYPL branch since 1916. Robert S. Ake had been the first in 1948. Rickert went on to head three branches before he retired from NYPL in 1969.