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California Library Hall of Fame: Ella Morgan
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California Library Hall of Fame

Ella Morgan (1876-1958)

In 1903, Los Angeles High School principal William Housh appointed Ella Morgan, a librarian at Los Angeles Public Library, to be the first school librarian in California. She also served part-time as the school secretary. She was so successful at adapting her public library skills to school librarianship that she became the full-time school librarian the following academic year. Moreover, her success led to the hiring of school librarians in several schools across the state. In 1913, Morgan was asked to create a library at the newly built Lincoln High School, where she worked for the next 27 years. In 1915, she was one of eight librarians who founded the California School Library Association (CSLA), for which she served as the first president. Under her leadership, CSLA lobbied for certification of school librarians as credentialed teachers, which eventually led, in 1917, to passage of a state law defining school librarians as teachers. On the national level, Morgan served on a committee charged with drafting the first standards for high school libraries, called Standard Library Organization and Equipment for Secondary Schools of Different Sizes (1920). When she died in 1958, CSLA called her “the dean of school librarians,” who laid “the foundation stones . . . of school libraries . . . with so much imagination and skill, they still endure.”


Ella Morgan was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2015. For more information about her, please see:

  • Through Ella’s Eyes