Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Louise P. Berry was born in Bourbon County, Kentucky and attended Hamilton College in Lexington KY, 1899-1900. 

In 1907 she married George P. Bull (1876-1915), a farmer in Florida.  She apparently returned home to Kentucky after his death and moved to NYC a year later.

Louise P. Bull, as she was known at NYPL, entered the NYPL Library School in 1916 and completed the two-year degree program in 1918.  Bull received a regular appointment to NYPL in 1917 and after 1919 spent her entire career at the Mott Haven Branch in the Bronx.  She served as Branch Librarian at Mott Haven from 1923 until her retirement in 1948.

Tight city budgets in the 1920s made operations difficult for NYPL.  Bull’s annual reports at Mott Haven often commented on the impact of low salaries and high turnover on library efficiency.  She complained that the low pay attracted unqualified employees and that good staff members often left.  In her 1925 report she cited one librarian who after receiving six months of training left for a Long Island library with a one-third increase in salary.  A year later Bull reported that the branch had had 31 different staff members during the year, but only seven of them had worked in the branch the previous year. 

Today would be the 128th birthday of Louise Bull.

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