1976

In 1976, ALA saw its first African-American president. Clara Stanton Jones was elected president that year.

"Jones’s 26-year career at DPL [Detroit Public Library] culminated in a promotion to the directorship in 1970, where she served until her retirement in 1978. A renowned mentor to young professionals, Jones was ALA’s first African-American president, serving from 1976 to 1977.

Jones started her library career in 1938 as a reference librarian at Dillard University Library in New Orleans and began serving at DPL in 1944. The author of the library science textbook Public Library Information and Referral Service (Gaylord, 1978), received honorary doctorates from nine colleges and universities, and was voted an Honorary Member of ALA, the Association’s highest honor. President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the National Commission on Libraries and Information Services, where she served as a commissioner from 1978 to 1982."   On the occasion of her death at age 99, American Libraries published this article remembering her fascinating career.