Effie Louise Power

1873 - 1969

Author, Educator, & Librarian


Effie Louise Power
Effie Louise Power was one of the pioneers of library service to children.  She was born on February 12, 1873 in Conneautville, Pennsylvania.  In 1906 she obtained a diploma from the Training School for Children's Librarians  at the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh.  Then she obtained a teaching certificate from Columbia University in 1906.  During her career she moved several times thus impacting the development of children's services in three different library systems: the Cleveland Public Library (CPL), the St. Louis Public Library, and the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh.  She believed that children's responses to books should be both solicited and respected.  Her library career began at the Cleveland Public Library where she worked under William Howard Brett.  Under his supervision, she opened the systems first children's room in 1898.  Throughout her career she also taught library courses, children's literature, and storytelling at a number of colleges and universities. She partnered with Western Reserve University and transformed the training program at the Cleveland Public Library into a graduate program.  She was also active in the American Library Association (ALA): chairing the Children's Section of ALA  in 1912 to 1913 and again in 1929 to 1930 and serving as an ALA Councilor from 1914 to 1919.  

Photograph from World Encyclopedia of Library and Information Services (Kingsbury, 1993, p. 671).

  • Received an Honorary Master's Degree, Allegheny College, 1934
Selected Works
  • Library Service for Children, American Library Association, 1930
  • Children's Books for General Reading, 2nd edition, American Library Association, 1930
  • Bag o' Tales, Dutton, 1934
  • Blue Caravan Tales, Dutton, 1935
  • Stories to Shorten the Road, Dutton, 1936
  • From Umar's Pack, Dutton, 1937
  • Berneis, R. F. (1978). Power, Effie Louise. In B. S. Wynar (Ed.), Dictionary of American library biography (pp. 412-414). Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited.
  • Kingsbury, M. E. (1993). Power, Effie Louise. In World encyclopedia of library and information services (3rd ed., pp. 671-672). Chicago: American Library Association.
  • 100 of the most important leaders we had in the 20th century. (1999, December). American Libraries, 30 (11), 38-48.
  • Vandergrift, K.E. (1996, Spring). Female advocacy and harmonious voices: A history of public library services and publishing for children in the United States. Library Trends, 44 (4), 683-718.

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Last Modified: May 6, 2002