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Frances Kennedy
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Photo of Frances KennedyFrances Kennedy was born in Missouri in 1907.  She began her career in the Muskogee Public Library and attended her first OLA Conference in 1928. From Muskogee, Frances went to the Oklahoma City Public Library. Frances obtained a B.L.S. and a M.S. from the University of Illinois. In 1947 she was appointed librarian of Oklahoma City University. Frances served as Director of the OCU Library for twenty-seven years and retired in 1974. She was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Oklahoma City University in 1976.

Frances held all of the offices in the Oklahoma Library Association, served as editor of the Oklahoma Librarian, and held offices in the Southwestern Library Association and the American Library Association. Frances received a John Cotton Dana Award in 1953. In 1965, she received OLA’s Distinguished Service Award. The presentation speech said, “Not only has our fellow librarian performed regular assignments, but she has helped many of us do better jobs of our own—by possessing broad shoulders, a listening ear, and a kind heart. Our honoree has tackled many unpleasant as well as pleasant tasks of leadership in library development in Oklahoma—remaining always a great source of inspiration to everyone who comes into her orbit.” One example of the unpleasant tasks that Frances undertook was the investigation of the firing of Miss Ruth Brown from the Bartlesville Public Library.

Frances served as the first executive secretary of the Oklahoma Library Association from 1974 to 1977 following her retirement from Oklahoma City University. She died on September 14, 2004.

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