Elizabeth Nesbitt was known internationally as an authority on children's
literature and as a storyteller. She was born on April 15, 1897, in Northumberland, Pennsylvania.
She taught at a private school for one year in 1919 before entering the library
profession. Her library career began when she became an assistant at the
Central Boys and Girls Division of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
While working in this position, she also took classes at the Carnegie Library
School. In 1922, she received her certificate from the school and became a
children's librarian at one of the branches. Over the next few years she
held a number of librarian positions in and around Pittsburgh. Then in
1929, she returned to the Carnegie Library School, this time as an instructor.
She was able to continue taking classes while teaching and earned her B.S. in
library science in 1931. Four years later, she earned a M.A. in English at
the University of Pittsburgh. In 1948 she was named associate dean of the
Carnegie Library School, a position she held until her retirement in 1962.
She was also very active in the American Library Association: she was the chair
of the Newbery-Caldecott Committee in 1958 and served on the ALA Executive Board
two years later.