Friday, October 25, 2013

SOPHIA P. KENT (1882-????)

Sophia Kent was born in Pennsylvania and studied at Drexel Institute, 1901-1902. 

In 1904 Kent attended the Chautauqua Summer Library School, completed the NYPL Training Class, and received a regular staff appointment at NYPL.  By 1906, she had been promoted to First Assistant and in 1911 was under consideration for promotion to Branch Librarian.  The Head Worker at the University Settlement House wrote Dr. John Shaw Billings (NYPL Director) recommending Kent’s promotion based on “her uniform courtesy to the patrons of the Library; and her keen interest in the work.”

Kent received the promotion and over the next nine years headed three branches in Manhattan.  She resigned in 1920 and married John Archibald Shields in 1920 or 1921.  He worked as a private detective.

The couple lived on Staten Island, and Sophia Shields apparently did not work outside the home until her oldest daughter was in college.   In 1943 she returned to librarianship at Wagner College and worked there until she was 76 years old. 

Sophia Kent’s younger sister, Dorothy Kent (1889-1917), was a 1913 graduate of the NYPL Library School and worked as a librarian at NYPL and in New Jersey.

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