Meet the ACRL Presidents: Louise Giles

Louise GilesOver the course of ACRL’s 75th anniversary celebration, we’ll highlight the association’s history by profiling our past presidents.

In 1975, Louise Giles became the first black president of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL). Giles was a graduate of Drexel University’s library school and Dean of the Learning Resources at Macomb County Community College. She was outstanding in the field of community college learning resource centers and a leader in the American Library Association and Michigan Library Association.

Louise Jones Giles passed away with her husband of 23 years in a house fire on December 31, 1976. On February 1, 1977 ALA Council approved a resolution unanimously endorsed by the ACRL Board of Directors and the ALA Awards Committee that honored Louise Giles and renamed the ALA Minority Scholarship as the Louise Giles Minority Scholarship. In 1977, Clara Stanton Jones, the first African American President of the American Library Association (ALA) awarded the first Louise Giles Minority Scholarship and scholarships were awarded annually thereafter.

At its 2002 Spring Meeting, the ALA Executive Board voted to permanently incorporate the Louise Giles Scholarship into the Spectrum Scholarship Family of funds and to retain its name as the Louise Giles Spectrum Scholarship and a scholarship has been named annually in her honor since 2003.

Remembrances of Louise Giles can be found in Volume 38, no. 2 of College & Research Libraries News and in the Spring 1977 newsletter of the Michigan Library Association.