King, Margaret Isadera

Born in Lexington, Ky., on September 1, 1879. Librarian. University of Kentucky, B.A., 1898. Died April 13, 1966.

She was asked by University President James K. Patterson in 1909 to organize a library at the University. Prior to that time, professors and departments had small collections of books which students were allowed to use. At a salary of $870 a year, she and two student assistants moved into the recently-completed Carnegie Library building.

When the present King Library was opened in 1931, the new edifice was named for her. Under her supervision the Library grew from 53,746 volumes in 1923 to 77,332 in 1927.

As the first librarian of the University, she played an important role in the collecting and organizing of the library as it is today. She earned a B.S. degree from the Columbia University School of Library Science in 1929. She also did graduate work at Simmons College and the University of Michigan.

Following graduation from UK in 1898, she worked until 1905 as secretary in a Lexington law firm, and from 1905-1912 was secretary to the President and the registrar at the University, moving over to library service in 1912. She published a number of papers in the field of library science. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and was awarded the Founders Day Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Librarianship, in 1957.

She was a trustee of the Lexington Public Library, 1936-42; member, American Library Association, Southeastern Library Association, and the Kentucky Library Association (President, 1926-27), and a member of its library survey committee.

Other memberships included the Bradford Historical Society, the Episcopal Church, and the Altrusa Club of Lexington. When Lawrence Thompson was named Director of libraries in 1948, she remained as his assistant until she went on change of work status a year later.

Margaret Isadera King was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni in February 1965.

University of Kentucky Alumni Association