Clara Whitehill Hunt

1871 - 1958

Author, Lecturer & Librarian


Clara Hunt sought to creat a surrogate home for her young readers, in which a child "feels free to express himself in a natural, friendly atmosphere." - Clara Whitehill Hunt

Clara Hunt
Born in Utica, New York in 1871, Clara Whitehill Hunt devoted much of her career to children's library services. She graduated from the Utica Free Academy in 1889, then from the New York State Library School in 1898. She spent three years a a public school principal, then began working with Newark, New Jersey's Free Public Library in 1898. Beginning in 1903 at the Brooklyn Public Library, she became the Superintendent of Work with Children and spent thirty-seven years in the position. Not only was she the manager of children's services, but she also created the Brownsville Children's Library, the first library devoted exclusively to children. For thirty years she watched her collections grow and actively promoted library services for children. In 1922, Clara Hunt presented the very first of the American Library Association's Newbery Awards.

Photograph from the Brookyn Public Library
  • Clara Whitehill Hunt Memorial for 'notable' books named after her in 1921
Selected Works
  • Hunt, Clara Whitehill. (1915). What shall we read to the children? Boston, New York, Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • Hunt, Clara Whitehill. (1925). The first three hundred books for the children's library, Albany, New York: The University of the State of New York Press.
  • Hunt, Clara Whitehill. (1924). Library work with children, Revised. Chicago, Illinois: American Library Association.
  • Schuman, P.G. (1978). Hunt, Clara Whitehill. In B.S. Wynar (ed.), Dictionary of American Library Biography (pp. 255-256). Littleton, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Brooklyn Public Library. Central Library Youth Wing - Renovation News. Last accessed May 5, 2002.
  • Alice I. Hazeltine. (1917). Library Work with Children. White Plains, NY: H.W. Wilson Company.

Back to Home

Last Modified: May 5, 2002