Promoting the appreciation, enjoyment, and preservation of our library heritage
Monday, September 10, 2012
Mrs. Thompson's ALA Conference Badges
As a collector of library ephemera and memorabilia I'm always happy to find items that connect me to library workers of the past who engaged in the same kinds of activities that I took part in during my library career. I recently acquired three badges for American Library Association conferences that took place in Detroit, MI (1922); Hot Springs, AR (1923); and Saratoga Springs, NY (1924). All three of the badges belonged to Mrs. Joseph A. Thompson. It took a little Internet sleuthing, but I found out a few things about Mrs. Thompson other than the fact that she attended at least three ALA Conferences. Mrs. Thompson was the first Librarian of the Chickasha (OK) Public Library starting with the completion of Chickasha's Carnegie library building in 1905 when it was still part of the Indian Territory. She was a charter member of the Oklahoma Library Association which was founded in 1907, the same year that Oklahoma Territory and the Indian Territory became the state of Oklahoma. She served as Secretary of the Oklahoma Library Association for a period. Mrs. Thompson's ALA activities included serving on the 1921-1922 Membership Committee which presented a report at the 1922 Detroit conference. It is interesting sign of that period that all the references for Mrs. Thompson used her husband's name and I couldn't find any reference to her own given name [thanks to Barb for discovering Mrs. Thompson's given name was Sallie Lou]. The three metal badges are interesting. There is a slot for the name tag to be inserted. The hand written name tags for Mrs. Thompson were pretty small and you would definitely have to look hard to read them. The name tag for the Saratoga Springs Conference is missing. A brief history of the Chickasha Public Library is located HERE.