must not close without a brief tribute to the memory of Miss Almira L. Hayward
, who was its librarian for twenty years (from 1874 to 1894); and for this I cannot do better than to quote a few sentences from the minute entered by the trustees on their records, to express their grateful appreciation of her services: ‘She was in many respects a remarkable woman.
Her conscientious self-devotion was without limit, and long experience had developed in her the very highest qualities of a librarian: knowledge of books, organizing power, and a ready sympathy with students.
More remarkable than these traits, perhaps, was the promptness with which she adapted herself to the great enlargement of the library and that transformation of its methods which accompanied its removal to a new building. . . . The plan of an addition to the building, with special reference to the needs of the children, was largely hers; she was spared to see its completion, and met her death while placing the new rooms in order.
She died literally in harness, as she always wished to die; and her name will be forever associated with the most important formative period of her beloved institution.’
After Miss Hayward
's death the care of the library devolved for several months upon the first assistant, Miss Etta L. Russell
, who proved herself altogether competent for it, but declined to be a candidate for the librarianship.
Mr. W. R. L. Gifford
, of the New Bedford Public Library
, was elected to the vacancy, and entered upon his duties in March, 1895.
The results of his first year's service indicate that this was a happy choice.
The past history of the library is a chapter in her annals of which Cambridge
may honestly be proud, and the future is full of promise.