Barcroft Taylor was born in 1914 in Brownsville, Tennessee. She has
resided in Maryland from 1948 to the present time. Ms. Taylor has spent
the past 40 years of her life working to improve the quality of library
service to the citizens of Maryland. She has been a driving force in
for Maryland one of the finest networks of public libraries in the
Her success in part resulted from her early experience during World War II as an Army librarian and Command Librarian for the U.S. Army in Heidelberg, Germany. As a result of her work, each county in Maryland now has a library system connected to all other county library systems, through the sharing of books and memberships. Mobile libraries now service rural areas and disabled citizens. Finally, Maryland libraries have evolved into sophisticated media centers for community use.
All of these improvements have contributed to providing
with greater educational opportunities and cultural diversity. Year
year she lobbied legislators and governors for the funding needed to
public libraries. During the "Taylor era," per capita state and local
increased from 10 cents to $7.25. Her tireless efforts and tenacity
Maryland's library system from a state with libraries scattered
to a state with a cooperative network of libraries. In addition, early
in her career she realized the value technology would have on libraries
and moved forward to apply that technology to library cataloguing
the use of the microfiche. Thus she paved the way for the modern
today, where computers guide
In 1959, Ms. Taylor served as Supervisor of Public Libraries for the State Department of Education. In 1960, in addition to serving as President of the Maryland Library Association, Ms. Taylor was named Assistant State Superintendent for Libraries and Chief, Division of Library Development and Services for the Maryland State Department of Education.
Throughout her notable career; Ms. Taylor has been recognized with numerous awards for her service to the profession. Among them are the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Library Council Outstanding Service Award, 1986; the American Library Association Joseph W Lippincott Award for Distinguished Service, 1984; the Maryland Educational Media Association, Honorary Membership, 1983, and the Maryland Library Association Distinguished Service Award, 1979.
Although Ms. Taylor retired in 1988, she continues to advocate for quality libraries through the Citizens for Maryland Libraries. Maryland citizens have benefited from Ms. Taylor's diligent pursuit of the statewide library network that now exists which allows patrons easy access to information and resources simply by visiting the nearest library.