top of page
Home / History / The McIntyre Years




Brief History of School Libraries &

 ISNS-UNI Laboratory School Library


By Gail Froyen



The McIntyre Years

Northern University High School Library

August 1968 - June 1990


Kent Alan McIntyre, Secondary Librarian

B.A. 1957 Education, University of Iowa

M.A. June 1964 Library Science, University of Denver


Served as MPLS secondary librarian on an academic year plus summer school appointment.



1957-1959 Social Studies Teacher grades 9-12, Grand Mound Consolidated Schools,    Grand Mound, Iowa

1959-1963 Social Studies and English Teacher grades 7-9, Gladbrook, Iowa

1964-1968 Head librarian, Davenport Central High School, Davenport, Iowa


McIntyre began his teaching career at Grand Mound Consolidated School following graduation from the University of Iowa in 1957, teaching social studies grades 9-12. The superintendent urged McIntyre to go with him to Gladbrook where he taught social studies and English for grades 7-9 from 1959-1963. During that time he established a small library and reading area adjacent to the study hall. Following a year of study at the University of Denver, McIntyre returned to Iowa where he was head librarian at the largest school in the state of Iowa, Davenport Central High School from 1964 to 1968.


A librarian friend told McIntyre about an opening at Price Laboratory School. In 1968, after discussing the position with Dr. Ross Nielson, he accepted the job. He enjoyed a challenge and believed MPLS would provide challenges for him.



Administration of the MPLS Library

With the addition of a second full time library position, one dedicated to the secondary curriculum, its faculty and students, the administrative duties were shared between Diamond and McIntyre.  For example, McIntyre assumed responsibility for the yearly inventory and supervised circulation and all that it entailed. While each did the selection and cataloging for the elementary or secondary collections, Diamond updated the Sears subject list, maintained the catalog and shelf list, and supervised the preparation of materials for circulation. (The “shelf list” is a record of the books and other materials in a library arranged in the order in which the materials are stored on shelves). Other administrative duties were split or shared as was needed.


Library Space and arrangement

The area allowed for only minor changes over the years. As the collection grew, double-sided freestanding tall shelving perpendicular to the west end wall was added. One important change came in the early 1980’s. Advancements in technology brought the introduction of non-book media to the collection. This resulted in the installation of individual study carrels and several computers.


Acquisitions and Collection Management

Of great importance for the secondary collection was soliciting funding from the administration and developing budget expenditures for books, periodicals, newspapers, pamphlets, brochures, and audio-visual materials and cataloging them. Weeding worn or outdated materials was always a key part of developing a quality collection.


Building a broad collection of fiction for secondary students was one of McIntyre’s primary goals.  To this end, he devoted many hours to reading reviews from professional journals, soliciting/responding to suggestions from faculty, selecting the best of those that fit the needs of the MPLS curriculum and patrons—and adding them to the MPLS collection.


When McIntyre arrived at the MPLS library, the reference collection seemed inadequate to him. Consequently, one of his goals was to enlarge and update this collection.  On his retirement, the reference materials available to MPLS patrons were easily among the best in secondary collections in the state.


Teaching and Literacy

McIntyre found students in grades 7-10 a special joy to teach. They had an eagerness to learn. He believed in self-education through reading and encouraged this development in students. He capitalized on their enthusiasm by providing reading guidance. McIntyre always possessed a passion for searching for and finding answers to questions. “I have a strong belief that everyone needs and can use the skills of reference and research,” he often said. He honed his ability to match materials with students by reading many of the new acquisitions.


He also spent time teaching the use of the audio visual equipment needed for viewing such library resources as slides, film strips, and other materials.  Secondary language arts and social studies faculty and classes were the most frequent users of the library. McIntyre also visited classrooms to introduce new materials related to the various subjects being taught.  He created bibliographies to serve class needs.


Lab School students also had opportunites to read and hear the following nationally-known writers who keynoted the Beginning Reading Conference during the Diamond and McIntyre years:


Dr. Roger Shuy (1972)                                Dr. Yetta Goodman (1982)

Dr. Herbert Sandbert (1973)                      Lillian Hoban (1983)

Charlotte Brooks (1974)                              Dr. John Pilulski (1984)

Dr. Bill Martin Jr. (1975)                              Dr. Tom Wolpert (1985)

Dr. Lilian Katz (1976)                                   Drs. Ruth and Harlan Hansen (1986)

Joy Wayman & Patrick Welch (1977)       Jim Trelease (1987)

Dr. Charlotte Huck (1978)                           Dr. Lucy McCormick Calkins (1988)

Marlene and Robert McCracken (1979)   Bill Martin Jr. & Susan Pearson (1989)

Dr. David Elkind (1980)                               Mem Fox (1990)

Dr. Margaret Early (1981)


UNI Students/Student Teachers

Working with student teachers and participants as well as faculty from university classrooms was an important responsibility of all MPLS faculty. McIntyre provided these patrons many opportunities to learn about the wide variety of materials and services available in the library. This included student teachers and participants who were assigned to the library to practice their skills with NUHS students.


Technology, Service & Outreach Activities:

McIntyre served as the media specialist with many NCA evaluation teams. Visiting school media facilities in Iowa was perhaps the high point of his service outside NUHS. Many of these were smaller schools with limited staff and resources who were appreciative of any help they could receive. Many had teacher librarians with minimal training who, as years passed, earned degrees in Library Science. Being able to contribute to the growth and excellence in the media services at MPLS and across the state brought him great satisfaction.


Department of Teaching Heads during Kent McIntyre’s tenure.

Ross Nielsen, Head, June 11,1962-May 30,1986

John Tarr, Interim Head, 1986-1988

David Else, Head, 1988-1990

Receive the latest news and updates in your inbox


Receive News and Updates

bottom of page