175 Makers of History: Tommie Dora Barker

Tommie Dora Barker 1909G 30H
Founding Dean of Emory Library School

Tommie Dora Barker

After graduating from Agnes Scott College, Tommie Dora Barker earned a library certificate from the Carnegie Library School of Atlanta and spent twenty-one years as a public librarian.

She oversaw the opening of Atlanta's first library for African Americans in 1921. Barker went on to become director of the Carnegie Library School, leading its transition to Emory's Library School and later the Division of Librarianship, where she was founding dean and director from 1936 to 1954.

In the 1930s Barker served as regional field agent for the American Library Association, acting as the organization's first voice for Southern librarians and their concerns.