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California Library Hall of Fame: Everett Robbins Perry
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California Library Hall of Fame

Everett Robbins Perry (1876-1933)

Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, Everett Perry attended Harvard University before graduating from the New York State Library School in 1903. He worked at Harvard University’s library, as well as the St. Louis Public Library, before moving on in 1906 to New York Public Library, where he developed the library’s classification system and oversaw the information department. Perry was hired as director of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) in 1911. During his 23-year tenure at LAPL, he increased library staff from 98 to 600, enhanced the book collection from 200,000 volumes to 1.5 million, and expanded the number of branches from 12 to 48. He also professionalized operations by dividing the library into subject departments (an innovative idea, at the time) and expanded collection areas. Perry even created a municipal reference service department for city officials and employees. In addition, he redesigned LAPL’s pioneering training program to meet emerging professional standards and gained accreditation from the American Library Association’s (ALA) board of education for librarianship. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment, however, was overseeing construction of LAPL’s iconic central library, opened in 1926. Perry served as California Library Association president in 1917 and ALA vice president in 1929.

Everett Robbins Perry was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2018. For more information, please see:

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