Mary Virginia Gaver

1906 - 1992

Librarian, Educator, Researcher, Writer, Publisher, & Editor


Mary Virginia Gaver
Born on December 10, 1906, Mary Virginia Gaver had a huge impact on the development of school library programs.  In 1927, she received an A.B. degree from Randolph-Macon Woman's College.  She also received a B.S. and a M.S. from Columbia in 1932 and 1938 respectively.  Early in her career she worked as both a librarian and a teacher: However, she is more often remembered for her tenure as a professor at the Graduate School of Library Service at Rutgers University.  While at Rutgers, she directed a major research project (1959-1960) on the Effectiveness of Centralized School Library Services (Phase I).  Then in 1960, Mary Gaver was on the committee that completed the Standards for School Library Programs which were then published by the American Library Association.  She was also actively involved in a number of professional organizations.  For instance, she served as President of the American Association of School Librarians between 1959 and 1960.  Then between 1966 and 1967 she served as President of the American Library Association.  Two years after retiring from Rutgers, she was named Vice-President of Bro-Dart and became the General Editor of The Elementary School Library Collection.

Photograph from World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services (Jones, 1993, p. 315).

  • Rutger's Research Council Award, 1962
  • Herbert Putnam Honor Award, American Library Association, 1963
  • Randolph-Macon Woman's College Achievement Award, 1964
  • Beta Phi Mu Award of Good Teaching, 1964
  • Constance Lindsay Skinner Award, Woman's National Book Association, 1973
  • Honorary Membership, American Library Association, 1976
  • President's Award, American Association of School Librarians, 1980
Selected Works
  • Every Child Needs a School Library, 1957
  • Effectiveness of Centralized School Library Services (Phase I), 2nd edition, 1963
  • Jones, M. L. (1993). Gaver, Mary. In World encyclopedia of library and information services (3rd ed., pp. 314-315). Chicago: American Library Association.
  • 100 of the most important leaders we had in the 20th century. (1999, December). American Libraries, 30 (11), 38-48.

Back to Home

Last Modified: May 5, 2002