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Detroit Public Library’s first woman and African American executive director passes away at 99

Mrs. Clara Stanton Jones

OAKLAND, Calif. — Mrs. Clara Stanton Jones, the eighth director of the Detroit Public Library (DPL), died on Sept. 30 in Oakland, California. She was 99 years old.

In 1970, Mrs. Jones became the first woman and the first African American to lead the DPL. She served as director until her retirement in 1978.  Her DPL career spanned 26 years. One of her major accomplishments was the 1972 establishment of TIP, The Information Place, our community information and referral system that became a model for other libraries throughout the country.

Mrs. Jones was inaugurated as the first African American president of the American Library Association in 1976 and in 1977 was instrumental in bringing the ALA Annual Conference to Detroit.

Mrs. Jones was a gracious and generous person who will be remembered by many as a creative and innovative pioneer in providing community outreach library services to all people.

Condolences to the Jones family may be sent to her son: Mr. Stanton Jones, 1948 Cortereal Ave., Oakland, CA, 94611.

The Detroit Public Library is the largest library system in the state of Michigan. The Main Library and its 21 neighborhood branches make it one of the most valuable and accessible public institutions in metropolitan Detroit.

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