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Mary J.L. Black, Fort William chief librarian, 1909-37

Mary J.L. Black was born in 1879 at Uxbridge, Ontario. She moved to Fort William about 1904 and was appointed librarian there in 1909. She remained at its head until 1937. Mary Black was the first woman to be elected president of the Ontario Library Association in 1916/17. She served as one of the three Canadian commissioners for the American Library Association's survey of libraries, Libraries in Canada: a study of library conditions and needs, published in 1933. Throughout her career she was known for progressive methods and she tirelessly promoted the service ethic in library work.

She retired, in 1937, due to ill health and died in Vancouver on 4 January 1939.

Photo caption: Mary J.L. Black, no date [before 1926]
Photo source: The Ontario Library Association: an historical sketch 1900-1925
Page created on 15 May 1997
Last modified on


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