Meet the ACRL Presidents: Lewis C. Branscomb

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

Lewis C. Branscomb (1911-2005) was the 21st president of ACRL, serving from 1958-1959. At the time, he was the Director of Libraries at Ohio State University.  He began his library career at the University of Georgia in Athens. From there he moved on to Mercer University, but after a year he received an offer to become head librarian from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. After an encounter during a train ride with Robert Downs, he left South Carolina to become the Assistant Director of Public Services and Associate Professor of Library Sciences at the University of Illinois. In 1948, he left Illinois to become Associate Director at OSU and moved into the Director position when Earl Manchester retired.

One of Branscomb’s significant contributions to the field was in the area of automation. In 1962-1963 he served on a committee that eventually became OCLC. He was also instrumental in gaining tenure rank and title for the professional librarians in the Ohio State University libraries.