I am Maydell Murphy, first woman director of the Taunton Public Library. Maydell Murphy (1885-1965; head librarian 1932-1954) I was born in 1885 and began my teaching career at Taunton High School in 1915. I became high school librarian in 1926 until my appointment as head librarian at the Taunton Public Library on February 24, 1932. One of my first duties as head librarian was to make the reading rooms located over each fire station in the Whittenton, Weir and East Taunton sections of the city into full library branches. I was committed to developing the most highly educated and library trained staff I could and urged the city to upgrade salaries to professional standards. I worked diligently with the local school department to install books in each school and desired the building of a library wing for our children’s services. I saw the effects of the Great Depression upon our ability to serve the public and was happy that we could meet patrons’ needs during those most trying times. During World War II, I readied the library for blackout nights and air raids; I never thought about that when I applied for the position of head librarian! I had great fun writing my weekly column for the Taunton Daily Gazette, “The Library Corner”, mixing my love of the arts with my love of the library and a good book or two. I absolutely loved the theater, and acted in several local plays while in the Taunton Woman’s Club. I retired from the library in 1954 after 22 years of service. Now I could concentrate on my painting, trying to capture the cherished places I had travelled to. I share with you my thoughts upon my retirement as head librarian where the Board of Trustees and I “watched the library grow from a specialized institution used by the few into a community-wide service. I am proud to have shared in this work, and my loyalty to you and to my city goes deeper than words.”
This was found on the Taunton Public Library website.