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Eleanor Stephens (1941-1958)
State Librarian Eleanor Stephens
Eleanor Stephens took on the post of State Librarian in 1941.  The following year saw the State Library coordinating the efforts of the Victory Book campaign.  A total of 74,000 books were received, which were then sorted for distribution to World War II servicemen and women during the summer of 1942.
 
In the same year, the State Library made a recommendation that an official archivist was needed for the state of Oregon in order to maintain the Oregon Documents Collection.  Funds in the amount of $15,000 were included in the 1945-1947 biennium to start the Oregon State Archives, which would operate under the supervision of the State Librarian.  David C. Dunniway served as the first state archivist starting January 1st, 1946.  His responsibilities included preservation and custody of basic government records and administration of the library’s special collections.  Archives remained with the state library until 1973 when it transferred to the Secretary of State’s office.
 
Stephens was also responsible for a series of weekly radio programs titled “Ask Your State Librarian” on the state owned radio station KOAC in Corvallis.  A total of 23 programs were aired between October 1942 and April 1943 on a variety of topics, of which a key feature was reading lists related to the subject of the talk.
 
In 1953 legislation was passed that removed authority from the State Library to purchase library books for public schools, improved the document exchange program (Oregon Documents), and simplified the state's library laws.
 
In 1955, the Board of Trustees was changed to a seven member citizen board appointed by the Governor.  This change was made so that the interests of the library could be dealt with more efficiently, as well as to ensure a greater representation of the entire state by appointing members from various regions throughout Oregon.
 
The Federal Library Services Act in 1957 led to the appropriation of state funds to implement the State Library’s Plan for Rural Library Services.
 
To view historic photos from 1941-1958 follow the link below:
 
Photos 1941-1958