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Merica Hoagland, Founder of the Indiana Library School

Merica Hoagland

If you care about Library Schools in Indiana then you should give thanks to Merica Hoagland. Through her efforts, the first library school department was established as a department of the Winona Technical Institute. She then went ahead and established the Indiana Library School. Although the Indiana Library School lasted for a very short time, it was thanks to this school that many of us are now able to attend library school here in Indiana. Without Merica Hoagland's efforts, we do not know if there would be an ALA-accredited Library School at Indiana University.

Merica Hoagland paved the way for Indiana Univerisity and other colleges and universities that teach library science classes. She helped make the library profession what it is today in Indiana. The profession is going through a lot of changes now but by looking back on the struggle that Merica Hoagland went through helps assure us that the profession will turn out the better for this time of change.

(This picture was taken from a picture on the Internet from the book "Encyclopedia of Indianapolis" with a digital camera by Celia Bandelier)

Timeline of her life

1858: Born in Fort Wayne, IN
1862-?: Attended local Fort Wayne School and then went to college at Vassar
1890's: Became interested in library development
1898: Attended New York State Library's Summer School
1898: Organized the Midwest for the newly established Library Bureau
1901: Assisted in starting the New Carlisle Public Library in Indiana
1902: Hired by Indiana Library Commission and moved to Indianapolis, IN
1905: Established a library school as a department of Winona Technical Institute
1906: Recommended Demarchus Clariton Brown, a professor at Butler University be appointed to the position of State Librarian. He won the appointment.
1906: Spoke at the building dedication of the Carnegie Library at Sullivan, IN as part of her work for the Indiana Library Commission
1908: Incorporated the Indiana Library School as a private venture
1912: Attended a meeting of Library School Instructors at Chicago, Illinois
1913: Forced to close the Indiana Library School
1915-1916: Contributed "Bits of Indiana History" to the Indianapolis News
Last years of her life: Did personnel work for the Diamond Chain Company
1933: Died

Information for this page was obtained from the works of Dr. Joanne Passat, especially
The Open Door of Opportunity: The Indiana Library School and Its Students, 1905-1912 and also from the following:
"Guide to Women's History Materials in Manuscript and Visual Collections at the Indiana Historical Society" found at
"History of the New Carlisle - Olive Township Public Library" found at
"Carnegie Library" found at
Chicago Library School Instructors meeting invitation was found in the Indianapoli Star newspaper dated 12/31/1911 in a search at the Google News Archives

To learn more see: Merica Hoagland's Background, Merica Hoagland's Family or Merica Hoagland's Family Tree