Meet the ACRL Presidents: Benjamin E. Powell

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

Benjamin E. Powell (1905-1981) was the 11th president of ACRL, serving from 1948-49, and later president of ALA from 1959-1960. Powell began his career in academic librarianship as an undergraduate at Duke University in 1924. In 1946, the same year he returned to his alma mater to serve as University Librarian, Powell earned his Ph.D. in library science at the University of Chicago and ended his seven-year tenure as head librarian with the University of Missouri. In addition to his professional contributions in leadership roles, Powell contributed publications focused on the development of academic libraries in the southern United States.