Meet the ACRL Presidents: Millicent Demmin Abell

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

Millicent Demmin AbellMillicent “Penny” Demmin Abell (1934 – ) served as the 43rd president of ACRL from 1980-1981. During that time she was also the University Librarian at the University of California in San Diego. In 1985, she became the first woman to be appointed University Librarian at Yale University. She received her Master’s in Library Science in 1965 from the State University of New York in Albany, New York.

Under her leadership, the ACRL endorsed a new membership policy that gave ACRL members complimentary membership in a “type of activity” and a “type of library.” Additional section memberships were $2.00. During her tenure, the Board approved selection criteria for future ACRL conference sites. Abell was elected president of the Association of Research Librarians in 1982 and was a founding member of the Commission on Preservation and the Access and Digital Preservation Consortium. She has published articles about the role and professionalism of academic librarianship.