Thursday, October 6, 2011


Marjorie L. White was born and died in Bennington VT.  She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1920 with a BA in History and afterwards moved to New York City to work in the Teachers College Library.

White entered NYPL in 1923 and was promoted to Branch Librarian at the Hamilton Fish Park Branch in 1939.  She then headed the Wakefield Branch, 1941-1948.  In 1948 she resigned from NYPL shortly after she married Hans Ernst Friederich (1884-1967), a German-born insurance adjustor.  White returned to NYPL in 1949 and was re-appointed to her former position at Wakefield.  She headed that branch until her retirement in 1953.

In her first annual report at the Wakefield Branch in 1941, Marjorie White reflected the optimism of NYPL librarians and their faith in humanity, even as World War II began.  White wrote:  “the hope that America may lead the way in solving world problems seems suddenly quite possible.  We see moving about the room without friction or ill-will the descendants of those nations on both sides of the world’s most devastating conflict.”  For White, the ethnic coexistence reflected in her small branch library in the Bronx had a positive meaning that gave her hope even as this new “devastating conflict” erupted around the world.

Today would be the 114th birthday of Marjorie White.

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