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Dora Wright: Second Library Director

Years: 1920-1944

Harriet Deborah Dora Wright was born in December 18, 1872 in Logan, the daughter of John Fish Wright and Martha Duggan Gibbs. She was the granddaughter of John Pannell Wright who helped survey Logan and is attributed with naming the city.

When Miss Wright began her work on September 1, 1920, the library in Logan had been reformed as the Cache County Public Library. Her previous experience in book keeping and teaching at the High School guided her as she struggled with insufficient funding and reached out to the schools throughout the county. Her efforts to work with school officials and get books into the hands of children were noted by officials throughout her tenure as director. Public funding for the library was consistently less than needed, so books and materials for the many patrons who frequented the library were purchased with donations from private sources along with money collected from fines and rentals. In July 1937, after operating for more than sixteen years, the library board was excited to offer its first appropriation for library books since an initial purchase in 1920.

A new library building was a significant focus for library officials during the 1920’s. Throughout this period, the library was renting space in what was known as the Dewitt Building, located on West First North; however, the board minutes record concerns about this location being too small, not passing inspections by the Fire Inspector, and that it was falling into a state of disrepair. These concerns were alleviated when property was finally purchased in July 1930 on the Southeast corner of 100 East and 100 North. A new building was dedicated February 3, 1932 which started a new period of comfortable surroundings for the library.

Ongoing concerns related to funding the library were again raised in December 1932. After discussions and negotiations, Logan City and Cache County entered into an agreement to evenly split both the assets and ongoing operating costs. The agreement was signed in July 1933, planned to last for 25 years, and would be renewed automatically each year thereafter until such time either party wished to cancel the contract.

During her 25 years as director, Dora Wright contributed her time to many community efforts, including in 1925 holding the position of president in the Utah Library Association. In the summer of 1944 she announced her plans to retire. The library board thanked her for the "capable organization and supervision of the…library." They further said, "We credit you with managerial wizardry in succeeding financially when our budget was meager. …We appreciate your quarter century of service, and your loyalty to our aims and purposes." She is known to have passed away on February 6, 1970 in Salt Lake City at the age of 97.


Sources:

1. "Cache County Library Open House Sunday March 15.". The Herald Journal. March 1964 Issue.

2. "Cache County Library Officially Opened with Interesting Ceremonies.". Cache American. February 5, 1932 Issue.

3. "Cemeteries and Burials Database". Accessed online February 10, 2015.

4. "Dora Wright Resigns Library Position; Successor Named.". The Herald Journal. [Unknown Date]1944 Issue.

5. "Minutes of the Library Board of Logan City".

6. Hatch, Anne C. "A history of the library serving Cache County, Utah". 1973.


 

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