Allie Beth Martin received a B.S. degree from Peabody in 1939 and an M.S. from the Columbia School of Library Science in 1948. In the interim, she worked for several libraries in Arkansas and served as Asst. to the Arkansas State Library Commission. She was hired in the Fall of 1948 by the Tulsa Public Library to be Head of Extension. That began a long and illustrious career in Tulsa.
She was very active in the enactment of state legislation permitting multi-county and city-county library systems in Oklahoma. Immediately following its adoption, she was part of a team that worked for establishment of a city-county system in Tulsa. The first vote failed, but she was busy at work the very next day making plans for a more effective campaign. It passed, and she was appointed Acting Library Director January, 1963, and permanent Director in January, 1964.
Allie Beth believed that Tulsa deserved the very best in library service, and she devoted every waking hour to seeing that her dream was achieved for the next 10 years. She was equally determined to see the same level of service in the state, the region, and nationally.
She was active in OLA; president in 1955-56, won the first Meritorious Service Award, and the Distinguished Service Award in 1961. She was President of Southwest Library Assn. in the 1960â€™s and was President of the American Library Association at the time of her death on April 11, 1976.
All who knew her would testify to her vision, intelligence, vitality, initiative, sense of humor, and her great interest in library work. Allie Beth had a quick wit, a ready laugh, and a lively mind. She tried to leave no printed material unread, and generally tackled three or four books every night. Yet she had time for friends, movies, sharing recipes, and travel for the purpose of bringing back new ideas for the library system.
We still miss Allie Beth Martin.
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