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Millicent Friendly, the librarian from the board game Masterpiece, circa 1970
The librarian, whom I had never seen before, presided over the library like a watchdog, one of those poor dogs who are deliberately made vicious by being chained up and given little to eat; ot better, like the old, toothless cobra, pale because of centuries of darkness, who guards the king’s treasure in the Jungle Book. Paglietta, poor woman, was little less than a lusus naturae: she was small, without breasts or hips, waxen, wilted, and monstrously myopic; she wore glasses so thick and concave that, looking at her head-on, her eyes, light blue, almost white, seemed very far away, stuck at the back of her cranium. She gave the impression of never having been young, although she was certainly not more than thirty, and of having been born there, in the shadows, in that vague odor of mildew and stale air.
Harriet G. Eddy was Elk Grove High School’s first woman principal from 1907 - 1909 when she was appointed to the position of county library organizer by State Librarian James Gillis. During her tenure at the California State Library, Harriet was organized 40 county libraries. Her efforts became a model for the rest of the country on how to best reach out to rural communities. After leaving the state library, Harriet worked for Agricultural Extension Service at UC Berkeley. Harriet’s skill in library organization was recognized in other countries. She was a consultant to the Russian Ministry of Education and worked out a program for unification of library services throughout Russia.
Harriet was co-founder of the Women’s League for International Peace and Freedom, which is the oldest women’s peace organization in the world. She continued to work for worldwide peace up until the time of her death in 1966.
I’m a librarian, and sometimes, the things that people ask are a bit…well…
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