History

John Cotton Dana (1856-1929) was the first president (1909-1911) and founder of Special Libraries Association (SLA).  In 1991 SLA published “Librarian at Large: Selected Writings of John Cotton Dana” (PDF), which includes an outline of his career.   We have created a separate PDF from this publication, titled John Cotton Dana’s New Library Creed and the Evolution of Special Libraries.

In 1979 SLA created the John Cotton Dana Award which was to be granted to an information professional to recognize a lifetime of achievement as well as beyond exceptional service to special librarianship.

His 1903 third edition of “A Library Primer,” is now available as a Project Gutenberg E-book. Biographical information about his life and career can be found at various sites of organizations in which he was involved.

Rutgers University: John Cotton Dana, Newark’s First Citizen.

Denver Public Library: Materials and Services at the Children’s Library of the Denver Public Library.

Wikipedia: John Cotton Dana.

Voices of SLA: an International Oral History
Voices of SLA is an international repository of interviews with SLA’s elected and volunteer leaders, Fellows , honorees, mid-career professionals, people of significant influence to the profession, SLA staff members and others.

SLA Past Presidents

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