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Leicester Special Collections

First Professional Full Time Librarian - Rhoda Bennett (appointed 1932- 1961)

Letter from J. Poole, President of the Students' Union to Miss Rhoda Bennett, University Librarian, 1952

Letter from J. Poole, President of the Students' Union to Miss Rhoda Bennett, University Librarian, 1952.

Rhoda Bennett was among the first cohort of students at the College, graduating in 1925.  She returned to Leicester after studying Librarianship at University College, London, to work at the Guildhall Library. Rhoda was employed on 23rd April 1931 as Assistant Librarian on a salary of £90. She quickly gained promotion to Librarian in 1932, at the instigation of the Honorary Librarian, F.B. Lott, who recognised her professional skills, experience and full time status. Rhoda retired thirty years later in 1961 having steered the library through some challenges, not least stretched resources (space, books and staff), the war years and rapid growth in student numbers.

 

Letter from Rhoda Bennett, University Librarian to J. Poole, President of the Students Union, 1952

Letter from Rhoda Bennett, University Librarian to J. Poole, President of the Students Union, 1952.

Her father Dr F. W. Bennett had a role in the founding of the University. When he died in 1930, Rhoda and her sister Hilda had made the generous gift of his house on Regent Road and £6,000 in his memory. Rhoda continued the family tradition of contributing, notably giving to the new Medical School in 1977, her donation going towards the setting up of the Clinical Science Library.