Alice Mabel Jordan

1870 - 1960



Alice Mabel Jordan
Born in 1870 in Thomaston, Maine, Alice Mabel Jordan was the founder of the Round Table of Children's Literature (1906).  She was also one of the women that profoundly impacted the development of children's services in the public library.  Before becoming a librarian, she was a teacher in West Newton, Massachusetts.  Her career path changed in 1900 when she met Margaret McGuffey.  That same year, Alice Jordan left teaching to become a library assistant at the Boston Public Library (BPL) under McGuffey's supervision.  Then two years later, she became BPL's first children's librarian in the children's room.  The children's room was opened in 1895 but was not staffed until seven years later. She became the Supervisor of Work with Children at the Boston Public Library in 1917.  She was also a member of the advisory board for the Bookshop for Boys and Girls opened by Bertha Mahony in 1916.  For ten years, she also taught courses on librarianship and children's literature at Simmons College Library School. 

Photograph from Wilson Bulletin (Holbrook, 1939, p. 606).

Selected Works
  • From Rollo to Tom Sawyer and Other Papers, Horn Book, 1948
  • Boston Public Library. (2002). Special Collections List. Retrieved May 6, 2002 from
  • Bush, M. (1996, Spring). New England book women: Their increasing influence. Library Trends, 44 (4), 719-735.
  • Holbrook, B. (1939, May). Alice Mabel Jordan. Wilson Bulletin, 13 (9), 606.

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Last Modified: May 6, 2002