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Friday, September 9, 2011

Frances Morrison Passes at 92

It is with a heavy heart that CVS Midwest Tape notes the passing of Frances Morrison.

Frances joined the Saskatoon Public Library as an assistant in 1943. She stayed on until her retirement in 1980, eventually rising to the post of chief librarian in 1961. In accepting that position, she became the first woman to head a civic department in Saskatoon.

In her nineteen years as chief librarian, the Saskatoon Public Library benefitted greatly from her leadership. It grew from one main building with two outlets and a total of thirteen staff members to include a new main building, two other new libraries, and two new branches, with a staff of more than ninety people. In addition to the physical space, she also expanded the library’s reach, creating areas for local history and fine and performing arts as well as bringing audiovisual materials into the library’s collection.

Over the course of her career, Frances garnered several awards, including the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal in 1977 and the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 1999. When she retired in 1980, the main building of the Saskatoon library, built under her watch (and under budget), was renamed in her honour.

Frances is survived by her son David and his wife Alena, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. She also leaves behind a pair of shoes that will be difficult for any librarian to fill. The Saskatoon library, and the community as a whole, will greatly miss her.

To read more about Frances’s life and career, click on the links below:

Saskatchewan Library Association
The Globe and Mail
The Star Phoenix
Saskatoon Public Library

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