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North, Ada (1840-1899) | The American Library Association Archives

Name: North, Ada (1840-1899)
Fuller Form: North, Ada E.

Historical Note: Ada E. North was born in Alexander, New York in 1840. In 1865 she married Major J. North, but in 1870 she was widowed with small children. The following year, she was appointed the first State Librarian of Iowa. She held this post until 1878 when she became the city librarian of Des Moines. In 1879, she was appointed the first full-time librarian at the State University of Iowa (UI), a position she held until 1892. North is credited with many advances and improvements to accessibility in the libraries she served, including the creation of the first printed catalog of the Iowa State Library, the introduction of a card catalog at UI, and the reclassification of UI's 27,000 volumes according to the Dewey Decimal system. She was also one of five founders of the Iowa Library Association (originally called the Iowa Library Society), and advocated for a training program for librarians. North died in 1899.
Sources: Pawley, Christine. "North, Ada E." The Biographical Dictionary of Iowa. University of Iowa Press, 2009. Web. 22 August 2017

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