Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Gabriella J.D. Ackley received her education at St. Mary’s School in Knoxville Illinois. 1884-1886. It was an Episcopal girls school, but she is not listed as a graduate.  Ackley’s library training consisted of three courses in the Wisconsin summer school, in 1900 and 1901.

Her first known library job was in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, in 1902-1905.  She then became an organizer for the Wisconsin Library Commission and later served as head librarian in Watertown (WI), 1908-1912.  Ackley left Wisconsin to head a branch of the Chicago Public Library, 1912-1913.

In February 1914, Ackley wrote to Edwin Anderson asking for a job at NYPL.  She preferred one working with the public, explaining, “Of the little I know, I think I know and like best, books and humanity.”  Based on good recommendations from the Chicago Public Library, Ackley was hired the following month to be the First Assistant at the Fort Washington Branch.  She then served as Branch Librarian at the Yorkville (1916-1921), Aguilar (1922), and Bloomingdale branches.  Although she was 73 years old, Gabriella Ackley was still working when she died in 1941.

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