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Esther Mae Henke
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Photo of Esther Mae HenkeEsther Mae Henke was Associate Director for Public Library Development at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries until she retired in 1983.

There was no one more proud to be an Oklahoman than Esther Mae Henke.

During her 30 year career at ODL she was responsible for development of public library services throughout the state, the administration of state and federal funds to public libraries, statewide public library consultant services, new building construction and organization of multi-county library systems. One of her primary goals was to have at least one publicly supported library in every county of the state and that was achieved in 1974.

Esther Mae was awarded the Distinguished Service Award from the Oklahoma Library Association in 1971. Governor Nigh issued a proclamation declaring December 2, 1983 Esther Mae Henke Day in Oklahoma. She was appointed by Carl Albert, former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to the Advisory Council to plan the 1979 White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services. She was a member of the Woman’s Posse of the Westerners and was a member of the Soroptimist Club, twice serving as President. In 1966 she received the Theta Sigma Phi Byliners Award as Outstanding Woman of the Year in Library Science.

Esther Mae Henke died in Oklahoma City on May 22, 1997.

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