Linda Eastman

From the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

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EASTMAN, LINDA ANNE (17 July 1867-5 Apr. 1963), the fourth librarian of the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY, succeeding her friend and mentor WM. HOWARD BRETT†, was the first woman in the world to head a library of that size. Eastman was born in Oberlin, Ohio, daughter of William Harley and Sarah Ann (Redrup) Eastman. Her family moved to Cleveland when she was 7 and Eastman attended public school, graduating with honors from West High. Completing a course at Cleveland Normal School, Eastman began teaching but soon found herself attracted to library work. She became an assistant at the CPL in 1892 and was promoted to vice-librarian under Brett in 1895. Eastman was named librarian in 1918, a position she held until her retirement 20 years later. Her first years were dominated by the construction and occupancy of the $4.5 million main library building, opened in 1925. Later in her tenure, she developed several specialized operations, including a travel section, a business information bureau, and services to the blind and handicapped. Eastman’s achievements within her profession were highly regarded and recognized nationally. She was president of both the Ohio Library Assoc. and the American Library Assoc. and held a professorship at the Library School of Western Reserve University. She retired as librarian in 1938, when she was 71. Eastman died in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS and was buried in RIVERSIDE CEMETERY.


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