Monday, July 20, 2009

Little Lyrics for Librarians

Thanks to librariana collector extraordinaire Norman D. Stevens I obtained a copy of a reprint of a wonderful little publication entitled Little Lyrics for Librarians by William Fitch Smyth (1857-1940). The reprint contains a forward by Stevens which provides background information about Smyth and his small book of library related poems. According to Stevens, Smyth worked as an evening attendant in the general reference division of the Cleveland Public Library from 1904 until his death in 1940. He was highly thought of my his fellow library staff members and served as an "unofficial poet-laureate" for the library. The original publication was published in 1910 and it is unclear how many copies were actually produced. The reprint is a limited edition of 500, and I'm very pleased to have one of those copies.
The Cleveland Public Library has a rich heritage which is recounted in the book Open Shelves and Open Minds by C. H. Cramer (Case Western Reserve University Press, 1972). It also has an excellent collection of images that reflect the history of the library. I couldn't find any mention of Smyth on the library's website so I'm grateful to Norman for helping to preserve his memory and his contribution to librariana.

1 comment:

Riven Homewood said...

I hope someone will digitize this book and put it up on the Internet Archive. I'd love to see the rest of the poems!