Last year, I wrote a post about these sweet little library posters from 1965. You can read the post from my blog here.
Slate shared it in this post Adorable Midcentury Posters Teaching Kids How To Use The Library, which featured 8 of these posters from a 32-poster book Using Your Library: 32 Posters For Classroom and Library by Mary Joan Egan and Cynthia Amrice.
These were created to help children with topics such as research, finding a book using the card catalog and even borrowing books from the library.
I love these posters so much. They even inspired my friends at Buncee and I to create lots of stickers, animations, sayings, background and even more special assets so librarians can create their own wonderful posters and different kinds of branding and signage too.
You can read all about the inspiration the posters brought and the project with Buncee here.
Every book store and antique store we go to, I look for the posters. I have looked for them in lots of public and school libraries. In fact, when I hear that a library is being renovated or weeded, I asked about the posters. I love thinking about how libraries have changed and how they have stayed the same.
Then a few weeks ago, I received a Facebook message. It read...
I was so happy and excited to receive this message from Mary's daughter.
We went on to write one another back and forth. It was awesome knowing that Mary Joan Egan worked with artist Cynthia Amtrine to create this set of 32 posters on library skills for elementary school students.
I wanted to know more about the librarian and artist behind these library posters.
She wrote this back about her mom,
Hello!! I will work on getting you a photo. She was at Burnt Hills Ballston Lake for 44 years, I believe, with one year at Shenendehowa. She was very active in NYS School Library and ALA. It would be so nice if you wrote a blog as it seems you are on a similar career-love-of-libraries and children career. Thank you for your interest.
I also received a picture from her.She shared...
I believe Mary Joan Egan, on right, received an award at this meeting.
Here we are getting Hubert H. Humphrey’s autograph.
He was a speaker at the event. This was in Atlantic City.
She is going to be honored when the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake School District names the library at Stevens Elementary School in this professional's honor. This will be the first time in the BH-BL's 103 history to recognize a woman educator in this way.
What a special connection. I love that she reached out and now we know a little more about the amazing librarian who had this idea and created them for her library and libraries everywhere.
It also has lead me think about this...
I would love to invite Mary into our libraries now. I wonder, If Mary created posters now, what would they say?