Please enjoy this interview with Rachel Wayne Nelson who served as the Director of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library from 1978-1988. Her career with our library system began in 1954 when she was hired as the assistant librarian at the Coventry branch, which at that time was the main location. In 1982, she also published a fascinating paper on her projections for The Medium Sized Library in 2002 which you can read if you click on this link.

In her interview she reminisces about major changes that were specific to our library system such as the renovation of the Lee Road branch which opened as our main location in 1968 and the significance of the levy campaigns she oversaw during her tenure. In addition she talks about the expansion of library services to include the deaf community and homebound outreach. Also included in this interview are her thoughts on larger and more general trends in library services such as the emergence of technology and the influence of computers on library work. Today Rachel remains active in the community, serving the Fund For the Future of Heights Libraries and the Rainey Institute among others.

For more photos and information on Rachel Nelson please check out our Ohio Memory digital archive and The Cleveland Memory Project. You can also read about the history of our library in “More Than Just Books” by Marion H. Kelly. Put it on hold today by clicking here.

Oral History Interview Transcript – Rachel Nelson, Director

Recorded and interviewed by Ann McNamara on October 14, 2015 at 1 pm.

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