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Brief History of School Libraries &


The ISNS-UNI Laboratory School Library



The Campbell Years



First Librarian at the New Campus School Building

Clara Evelyn Campbell   

Juvenile Librarian 1937-1952 

MPLS Librarian 1952-1957


B.A. 1914 Music, Irving College, Mechanicsburg in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania


B.S. 1916, Carnegie Institute of Technology, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania


M.S. 1928 Library Science, Columbia University Library School 



Children’s librarian in the St. Joseph, Missouri Public Library. 

1919 Children’s librarian, Cleveland, Ohio Public Library 

1928 Children’s librarian, Howard Wittemore Public Library, Naugatuck, Connecticut



When Phase 1 of the Malcolm Price Laboratory School opened in 1953, the materials from the Library Juvenile Collection were moved to the library space in the new building. An article headlined “Campus Students Plan Full-Scale Move This Month” in the August 7, 1953 College Eye reported, “The campus school 14,000 volume library which has been housed in the main college library will be moved today. The campus school librarian, Miss Evelyn Campbell, is in charge of this part of the project.”


The layout of the library began with the “primary section” on the east end of the space with short shelving for picture books and shorter tables. The center section of the space was reserved for circulation and the book return area, card catalog, visual materials storage, and librarian/staff desks. The majority of the west side had tables for the secondary students, short shelving for the reference collection, tall shelving along the east, south, and west walls with windows lining most of the north wall. 


The planners determined that the library and the music rooms needed the widest spaces in the building. The music area needed to be near the auditorium for ease in moving pianos, bleachers, large instruments, etc., so they placed the music area on the main floor near the stage door and the library directly above the band, orchestra, and choral rooms. These spaces were the widest rooms in the building thus it made sense to the architects to stack them.  In those days, libraries were universally thought of as quiet places without aural distractions. The music drifting up from the band, orchestra, and chorus was distracting for the secondary students and did not make sense to at least one of the librarians.


“When the doors of the library of the Malcolm Price Laboratory School first opened in 1953, Evelyn Campbell realized the fulfillment of a long-cherished dream.  Her colleagues and patrons of the school looked upon it as a model facility--concrete proof of her ingenuity and of her years of thoughtful study and detailed planning. Young people found it an inviting environment in which [Campbell] could continue to bring to them the joy of the printed page, for she was blessed with the unique gift of being able to bring children to books, [and] books to children.” University Faculty Minutes, April 15, 1970

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