Meet the ACRL Presidents: Mabel Louise Conat

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

Mabel Louise Conat (1888-1980) was the fifth president of ACRL, serving from 1942-1943. A native Midwesterner, Conat completed her education at the University of Michigan and University of Illinois in 1909 and 1915 respectively. Along with being a national leader and advocate for libraries during her tenure as President, Conat was committed to serving her native and life-long home, Detroit. Her service to the community of Detroit included leadership positions advocating for women and the educational needs of adults and children.  In addition to her thirty-nine years of professional service with the Detroit Public Library system, Ms. Conat taught library science coursework at several institutions: Columbia University, Rutgers, and University of Illinois. Especially dedicated to advocating and innovating reference services, Mabel was instrumental in the foundation of the Reference Services Division of the American Library Association and the 1963 recipient of the Isadore Gilbert Mudge Citation for “distinguished contribution for reference librarianship.”