Monday, October 14, 2013


Alice M. Binns graduated from high school in 1920 and became an assistant curator at an unidentified museum.  The following year she entered the Cooper Union Art School.  While studying at Cooper Union, she worked as a substitute in the NYPL Circulation Department, 1922-1925. 

In 1925 Binns received a regular appointment at NYPL.  She took a leave of absence from NYPL 1928-1929 to work at the American Library in Paris.

Alice Binns took another leave to attend the Pratt Institute Library School and earned her degree in 1933.  The Pratt application asked prospective students to label their political beliefs as Conservative, Liberal or Radical, and she checked off the latter.  Although this was a period of labor ferment at the Library, Gibson’s name does not appear in any of the records relating to union activity.

In 1935, Binns married Randall Lee Gibson (1903-1957), a railroad contractor, but the marriage apparently ended in divorce. 

After working as a First Assistant at Central Circulation, the Picture Collection, and the Hudson Park Branch, Alice Gibson was finally promoted to be Branch Librarian at the Yorkville Branch in 1942.  After two years in that position, she resigned to work for the US Navy Department. 

Constance Binns (Alice’s sister), was a long-time children’s librarian at NYPL.

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