Thursday, October 10, 2013


In the 1930s, Lucille A. Goldthwaite was regarded as one of the country’s two leading authorities on books for the blind. 

Lucy Goldthwaite (as she was known) had no formal library training but in 1899 at the age of 22 she became a library assistant at the New York Free Circulating Library.  She worked at the NYFCL’s George Bruce Branch and was there at the time of the 1901 consolidation with NYPL.

Goldthwaite remained at the George Bruce Branch and was promoted to First Assistant in 1902.  In 1905 she was appointed head of the Library for the Blind and continued there until her retirement from NYPL in 1941.  Following her retirement, she worked half-time for the American Foundation for the Blind.

Goldthwaite was active in ALA’s Committee on Work for the Blind and for 20 years served as a member of the NY State Commission for the Blind, 1913-1933.  She was also a frequent writer on services for the blind. 

Goldthwaite focused especially on ways to provide books to blind users.  She was an early proponent of “talking books” and served as founder and editor of the Braille Book Review, 1932-1951, and as managing editor of Outlook for the Blind.

In 1946 the American Foundation for the Blind awarded its Migel Medal to Lucille Goldthwaite for her many services to the blind in the United States.

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