Oral History Center - UC Berkeley Library

Fay M. Blake: Information for All: An Activist Librarian and Library Educator at the University of California, 1961-1984

Interviewee(s):
Blake, Fay M.
Interviewer(s):
McCreery, Laura
Title:
Fay M. Blake: Information for All: An Activist Librarian and Library Educator at the University of California, 1961-1984
Abstract:
As a youngster, Fay M. Blake once stole a book from the New York Public Library. She didn't intend or even wish to keep it; she merely wanted to read it immediately, and she had already checked out the maximum number of books allowed to children. Her mother made her return it and confess her "crime," and a kindly librarian (who could scarcely believe Fay's voracious reading habits) let her check out extra books. The moral: you can change the system. Of course, Fay was not yet an activist in those waning days of the 1920s, and she was still years away from being a librarian. But that incident hinted at her lifelong habit of solving problems based on her own trusty logic (though she hastens to emphasize she never stole anything again). Fay went on to involve herself in many social and political causes during her formative years. After graduating from Hunter College in New York City, she moved to Los Angeles during World War II. Eventually, she attended library school at the University of Southern California and took a position at the UCLA library, where she rose to head the acquisitions department's "gifts and exchange" program. She completed a Ph.D. in English literature at UCLA and then joined the School of Librarianship faculty at UC Berkeley in 1971.
Subject area(s):
Education, University of California
Interview date(s):
2000
Project:
Education and University of California - Individual Interviews
Oskicat record:
b10453882
Rights:
Blake, Fay M. "Fay M. Blake: Information for All: An Activist Librarian and Library Educator at the University of California, 1961-1984." Interview by Laura McCreery in 2000. Oral History Center, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2001.