The rare vision of Mary Utopia Rothrock: Organizing regional library services in the Tennessee Valley

Mary Mallory

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Mary Utopia Rothrock was employed as the Supervisor of Library Services at the Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee, from 1933 to 1948. From this strategic position, she succeeded in organizing public library service in many areas of the valley, facilitating the establishment of a number of regional libraries to insure permanent services to rural communities, and effecting library growth throughout the Southeast. Rothrock accomplished this during the Depression and wartime by relying upon her own skills as a tactician, by making the library's services and programs an essential part of both work and play, and by building and maintaining broad-based, and growing, support for public libraries. An innovator, she believed that public library objectives should be examined in light of current conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-88
Number of pages27
JournalLibrary Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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