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California Library Hall of Fame: Anne Hadden
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California Library Hall of Fame

Anne Hadden (1874-1963)

Anne Hadden was the first director of the Monterey County Free Library and the inspiration for Patricia Beatty's wonderful children's novel Eight Mules from Monterey (Morrow, 1982). While county librarian, Hadden established 126 branches, often doing so on horseback and by foot, as she related in an early issue of News Notes of California Libraries (July 1916). As one local newspaper reported, Hadden was fearless in her dedication to serving her constituents, saying: "It is through this office that the remotest hamlets of our county are supplied with books . . . and opportunities of studying the best authors and highest authorities on all subjects . . . afforded those whose environment would otherwise debar them from these advantages." After 16 years in Monterey, Hadden resigned her position and went to work for the Palo Alto Public Library, where she remained until 1943. After working briefly for the Modoc County Library, she officially retired from librarianship in 1946. During her career, Hadden was active in CLA, serving as president of the 2d district in 1921/22, and published widely in several library and educational journals. She was also friend to several literary figures, including John Steinbeck. Her letters are housed in Stanford University's special collections.  


Anne Hadden was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2016. For more information about her, please see: 

  • Denise Salle, "Reconceptualizing Women's History: Anne Hadden and the California County Library System," Libraries and Culture (Fall 1992): 351-377

  • Anne Hadden, "Library Trails," News Notes of California’s Libraries (July 1916): 581-88 

  • Barbara Ann Warren & Anne Hadden, Books for All: Monterey County’s First Librarian (FastPencil, 2013).


Photo credit: Barbara Ann Warren & Anne Hadden, Books for All: Monterey County’s First Librarian (FastPencil, 2013) (cover art)