Katherine Howell at the New Hanover County Public Library.
Katherine Howell (1920-1990) became Head Librarian of the New Hanover County Public Library (NHCPL) in 1956, just in time to oversee its move from the 3rd floor of the Wilmington City Hall to the Wilmington Light Infantry Building. She continued as head of the library for 28 years, until 1982, after she supervised yet another move of the library from the Light Infantry Building to the empty Belk-Beery Building at Chestnut and 3rd streets. She started the interlibrary loan program, the microfilming of old newspapers, added bookmobile services, hired the first professional children's librarians, organized the University of North Carolina Wilmington library, installed air conditioning, oversaw integration for both patrons and employees of the library, helmed the addition of the Carolina Beach branch, expanded outreach to the young and elderly, installed copiers and microfilm readers. These efforts essentially built the foundation for what the NHCPL has become. She also was a historian and preservationist, a supporter of the St. John's Museum of Art, the Lower Cape Fear Historical Society, and the Historic Wilmington Foundation. The Historic Wilmington Foundation still gives the Katherine Howell award to someone who shows devotion to the preservation of local history.
New Hanover County Public Library (New Hanover County, N.C.); Librarians; Women librarians; Local history; Historic preservation
New Hanover County Public Library
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