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Judy MacMahon: Fifth Library Director

Years: 1974-1981

Judy MacMahon was an Ohio native when she came to fill the position of assistant librarian on May 18, 1973. She came with three years of experience working with children in the Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio Library System and graduate work in library media centers.

When she began her employment there were some concerns, chiefly over whether the hiring had been done properly. The library operated under an often-strained contractual agreement between Cache County and Logan City that gave Logan the purse strings for the library. As a result, then Logan Mayor Ted S. Perry would not pay MacMahon and his concerns were only settled after attorney Blaine Zollinger gave the city commission an opinion that directed the city to release the funds in July 1973. She was then given the position as the library's fifth director on July 23, 1974.

A significant legal issue soon arose when some became aware that the Cache Genealogical Library which had been housed in the library building since the 1930’s had not been paying anything to use the space. Some believed that since the genealogical section was operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints this was inappropriate. The library was even facing possible legal action when the decision was made to move this collection in to the basement of the Logan LDs Tabernacle. An open house for the new location was held on July 3, 1976.

Discussions also were begun on the future of the Cache County/Logan City contractual arrangement. Some favored expanding the county library into other towns, others were in favor of building a new building to expand services, and still others began to discuss the idea of the county divesting itself from the library in Logan. Finally, in December 1976 it was reported that Logan was entering into a new agreement with Cache County that in exchange for 7 years of library service to the county, the city would receive all the library assets, including the building and the collection.

Achievements during the tenure of Judy MacMahon included: beginning a computer catalog for the library, increasing the various programs offered to the public, and huge increases in circulation. During 1980 alone the library saw an increase of 30 percent. Judy MacMahon resigned on December 16, 1980, leaving in February 1981 to become the director of the Park City, Utah library.


Sources:

1. "Attorney Tells Logan to Pay Librarian.". The Herald Journal. July 11, 1973 Issue.

2. "Cache Library Pact Drawn Up.". The Herald Journal. December 15, 1976 Issue.

3. "Family Tree Sleuths Like New Quarters.". The Herald Journal. June 30, 1976 Issue.

4. "Librarian MacMahon Resigns.". The Herald Journal. December 17, 1980 Issue.

5. "Library Appointed for Cache.". The Herald Journal. July 23, 1973 Issue.

6. "Mayor and Library Board Clash in Utah.". American Libraries. October 1973 Issue.


 

Judy MacMahon Judy MacMahon Judy MacMahon Judy MacMahon