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Somerville, Mary R. | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Somerville, Mary R.

Historical Note: Mary R. Somerville earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, a master's degree in English literature from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a master's degree in library science from the University of Oklahoma, Norman. Over her career, she worked as the youth services administrator at the Broward County Library in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, the manager of personnel and project manager for automation at the Louisville (Ky.) Free Public Library, and the reference and government documents librarian at the Lincoln (Neb.) City Libraries [1]. She retired from her position as director of the Miami-Dade Public Library system in 1998, which she had held for nearly five years [2]. Among her many professional involvements, she served as President of ALA from 1996 to 1997. She was a member of ALA's Executive Board, Councilor-at-large (1992), chair of the Nominating Committee (1992), chair of the Melvil Dewey Committee (1989), and as an elected member of the Planning and Budget Assembly (1992). She was a member of the Caldecott Award Committee (1992 and the Public Library Association's representative to the Born to Read project. Additionally, she was President of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) (1987-1988), a member of their Board of Directors (1989-90, 1986-88, 1981-84), and the ALSC Consultant to the U.S. Department of Education (1988). Somerville received the H. W. Wilson Library Staff Development Award on behalf of the Louisville Free Public Library in 1986, the Public Employees Roundtable (PERT) Award on behalf of the Miama-Dade Public Library in 1994, and four John Cotton Dana Awards [1].
Sources: 1. Pamela Goodes and Linda Wallace, "Mary Somerville elected American Library Association president," June 1995, Mary R. Somerville Papers, 1968-1999, Record Series 2/1/40, Box 1, Folder: Vol. III: Past, Presidency, and Beyond - Press Releases and Fact Sheets, 1996-1997. American Library Association Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 2. "Miami-Dade Director Mary Somerville Announces Retirement," American Libraries, June 1, 1998,

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