Saturday, October 8, 2011

ELLA M. SAUER (1864-1937)

Today would be Ella Sauer’s 147th birthday.

Ella Sauer started work at the New York Free Circulating Library in 1886 and eventually headed three NYFCL branches.  She was serving as the Treasurer’s Assistant in 1901 when the NYFCL consolidated with NYPL.  Sauer continued to do administrative work in NYPL’s Circulation Department until being named as Branch Librarian for the Bond Street Branch.  After that she also headed the St. Agnes and Washington Heights branches. 

Sauer was regarded as one of the finest librarians in the Circulation Department although her work suffered as her health began to decline in the 1920s.  In 1927 the Director reported that “Her 41 years of excellent service seem to have exhausted her capacity for work.”  Sauer, however, did not have the funds to support herself in retirement.  After her death, the minutes of the Trustees’ Committee on Circulation noted that “she stayed on year after year in the hope for a pension.  It is tragic that just at the time the pension seems definitely in sight Miss Sauer should die.”  Sauer died on March 30, 1937, and the pension plan became effective on July 1st of that year

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