Saturday, August 20, 2011


Frances L. Westover (also known as Helen Westover) graduated from the Lewis Institute in 1903.  This Chicago school was regarded as one of the first junior colleges in the US, and it merged with the Armour Institute in 1940 to create today’s Illinois Institute of Technology.

It’s not clear what she did during the next few years, but she was working for the Chatham (NY) Public Library in 1909-1910.

Frances Westover entered NYPL in 1910 and was quickly promoted to First Assistant the following year.  In 1919 she was promoted to Branch Librarian at Staten Island’s Tottenville Branch, which was regarded as a minor branch in the NYPL system.  Starting in 1924, Westover spent her time working with the ethnic populations on Manhattan’s Lower East Side as the Branch Librarian of the Tompkins Square (1924-1927) and Seward Park branches (1927-1946).

After her retirement in 1946 she moved upstate to Spencertown NY where she lived for the rest of her life.

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