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California Library Hall of Fame: Virginia Walter
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California Library Hall of Fame

 Virginia Walter 

Virginia Walter has worked in, with, and for California libraries and their communities since 1966, when she received her master’s of library science degree from UC Berkeley. She started her career as a children’s librarian in Sunnyvale before moving on to San Francisco and then Los Angeles, where she ultimately became coordinator of children’s services. After receiving a doctorate from the University of Southern California in 1984, Walter joined the faculty of what is now called the UCLA Department of Information Studies and was chair in the early 2000s. Though she is currently professor emerita, she continues to teach future youth services librarians. Walter was president of the Association for Library Service to Children (2000/01) and served on a variety of American Library Association (ALA) and Public Library Association committees. She also served as ALA’s representative on the International Federation of Library Associations’ standing committees on Libraries for Children and Young People (2001-05) and Reading and Literacy (2007-11). For the California Library Association, Walter was chair of the Patricia Beatty Award Committee (1991), chair of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Children (1990), president of the California Society of Librarians (1988), and council member (1985-88). She has written and contributed to 16 academic monographs and written countless articles. She is a renowned expert on children’s literature, youth services, library management, and outcome-based planning and evaluation. Her work has shaped and improved the way youth services librarians understand and serve children and teens and how libraries evaluate and demonstrate their impact.

Virginia A. Walter was inducted into the California Library Hall of Fame in 2019. For more information about her philosophy of service, please see:

  • Virginia A. Walter (2009), Twenty-First-Century Kids, Twenty-First-Century Librarians (American Library Association).
  • Virginia A. Walter and Elaine E. Meyers (2003), Teens & Libraries: Getting It Right (American Library Association)
  • Virginia A. Walter (2001), Children & Libraries: Getting It Right (American Library Association)

Photo source: UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies