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Polly Clarke
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Photo of Polly ClarkePolly Elizabeth [Stotts] Clarke was born 21 March 1929 at Southland, Texas to Harvey and Pauline [Goode] Stotts. On 28 March 1958, she married George Clarke in Dallas, Texas and subsequently had two sons, Christopher and Paul. On 6 October 1986, she died at Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

She attended North Texas State University where she received three degrees: B.S. in Education in 1952, M.Ed. in 1957 and Ed. D. in 1973.

She began working as a librarian for the Dallas Independent School District in 1952 and continued there until 1960. From 1961 to 1963 she returned to North Texas State University as Instructor of Library Science. She then began a long career at Northeastern State College/University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She was hired as Assistant Librarian in 1963 and retired in 1984 as Professor of Library Science. Her extensive work in teaching librarianship was documented in the following statement from the Resolution in her honor presented by Northeastern State University’s Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges on 20 September 1985:

“.... WHEREAS, Dr. [Polly S.] Clarke, during her twenty-one years on the Northeastern faculty, has contributed immensely to the professional development of both students and faculty through her development of the library media program; WHEREAS, she has devoted herself to maintaining high professional standards within the framework of sincere concern for the institution, the teaching profession, and the individual student; and ... WHEREAS, special recognition should be accorded DR. CLARKE for her leadership in developing legislation to place certified librarians in the elementary schools, for her leadership as the President of the Oklahoma Library Association, and in the education division of the Oklahoma Library Association, and for her active role in continuing education which fostered the development of Library Specialists throughout the state; ... NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of Oklahoma Colleges bestow upon DR. CLARKE the honorary title of ‘Emeritus’ Professor of Library Media’ and ... wish for her a feeling of joy and satisfaction which rightfully comes to a person who has served so faithfully and honorably as an educator of the young people of Oklahoma....”

In 1988, following her death in 1986, the Oklahoma Association of School Library Media Specialists established the Polly Clarke Award given “to honor an Oklahoma school library media specialist who has been instrumental in the establishment of an exemplary library media program which serves the instructional needs of teachers, students, and administrators.”

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