Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Katherine Ainsworth: A Monrovia Librarian

“I decided to become a librarian when I was a child,” said Katherine Ainsworth, a former librarian at the Monrovia Public Library. “My mother was pleased. She said it was such nice, clean work for a lady.”

Katherine Ainsworth began her work in libraries in 1931, following her education at UCLA and USC, and became a member of the staff at the Monrovia Public Library in 1954. Throughout her years as a librarian, she was a strong opponent of censorship, and she is credited with making countless positive changes to modernize the library system. At the time of her retirement in 1967, she recalled, “When we first moved here, Monrovia was a rural community. Quite a few of the books dealt with habits of chickens and rabbits and growing citrus. Now it’s against the law to raise chickens and rabbits in the city. As they disappeared, so did the books.”

To learn more about the changes in the library and Monrovia itself, the Monrovia Public Library has a collection of local history books that are available for library use.

Source: “Veteran Valley Librarian Ends Monrovia Career,” San Gabriel Valley (California) Daily Tribune, 22 July 1967; folder: “Ainsworth, Katherine,” vertical files; Heritage Room, Monrovia Public Library, Monrovia, California.

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