Dissertation Information for Elizabeth Ida Hanson
- Elizabeth Ida Hanson
- Library and Information Science
- Indiana University (USA) (1994)
- David Kaser
- Thomas E. Nisonger
- Joanne E. Passet
- Peter F. McNally
- George Juergens
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: A jewel in a park: Westmount Public Library, 1897-1918
Abstract: In 1897 an aging British monarch, a young Canadian town and a reneging utility company prompted the establishment of the first tax-supported public library in the Province of Quebec, Canada. That year the Town of Westmount, the major enclave of English speakers in the predominantly French Montreal area, determined that a library would be its permanent memorial to Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. When the Westmount Public Library opened two years later it began serving a community distinguished by its British orientation, its wealth and its progressivism.
In early 1898 a dedicated and energetic Library Committee began a planning process which culminated in one of the earliest free-standing public library buildings in Canada. Echoes of H. H. Richardson in its exterior pointed to the American influence on its architecture. Probably the strongest influence on its collections and operating procedures was Charles Gould, McGill University Librarian and one of Canada's preeminent librarians, who served as advisor. The appointment of Mary Saxe as Chief Librarian in 1901 ensured the Westmount of strong leadership for years to come. Under her direction, by World War One the library had expanded to offer children's services, reference services and open access to the collections.
This study places the Westmount Public Library in two broad contexts, the first being the Montreal library scene. As the only public library in the area for many years it highlighted the unique social and cultural milieu of what was then the largest city in Canada, particularly the almost complete isolation of the two founding populations and the resulting duality of cultural institutions.
In the overall development of public libraries in Canada, as one of the first public libraries established outside Ontario the Westmount Public library heralded the broader spread of this important cultural institution. In addition, Mary Saxe influenced the development of Canadian librarianship through her conference presentations and her writings.
MPACT Scores for Elizabeth Ida Hanson
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calculated 2008-04-20 12:01:10
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