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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Charles Fletcher Lummis: Los Angeles City Librarian

  • Author(s): Blitz, Daniel Frederick
  • Advisor(s): Furner, Jonathan
  • et al.

This thesis investigates Charles Fletcher Lummis' overarching legacy at the Los Angeles Public Library, where he served as City Librarian from 1905-1910. Although Lummis lacked any formal library school training and was also inexperienced in professional librarianship, he nevertheless managed to transform his institution into one of the nation's foremost research libraries, as he earned himself a reputation as a daring and innovative librarian. And yet, despite his many achievements as librarian, he also presided over a very tumultuous period, with many people against him from the start. While some were opposed to the radical ideas put forth by a man they perceived to be an untrained outsider, there were also many librarians who admired Lummis' creativity and passion for his work. Lummis had a grandiose vision for the future of the Los Angeles Public Library, as well as the future of the library profession as a whole.

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