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Nora Bateson

b. 1896, Westhoughton, England; d. 1956, Rhyl, Wales


BA (Hons. Hist.) 1917 (Manchester); Diploma in Librarianship 1929 (Pratt);
MA (Hist.) 1933 (McGill)


Teacher, Kings Hall, Compton, Quebec
Library Clerk, Ontario Legislative Library
McGill University Library Summer School
Reference Librarian, University of British Columbia Library
Librarian, Chilliwack Branch, Fraser Valley Library Demonstration
Professor, McGill University Library School
Director, Prince Edward Island Library Demonstration
Enoch Pratt Free Library, Baltimore
1938-1945Director of Libraries, Nova Scotia
1945-1947Director of Home Reading Department, Detroit Public Library
1947-1948Senior Lecturer, New Zealand Library School
1948-1953Acting Director & Director, New Zealand Library School


Bateson, Nora. (1936).  The Carnegie library demonstration in Prince Edward Island. Canada, 1933-1936.  Charlottetown, P.E.I.: Prince Edward Island Libraries.

Bateson, Nora. (with J.J.Tompkins). (1936?). Why not a co-operative library?  Antigonish, N.S.: Extension Department, St. Francis Xavier University.

Bateson, Nora. (1938). Library survey of Nova Scotia.  [Halifax, N.S.]: Department of Education.

Batson, Nora. (1944).  Livres  pour aujourd'hui et demain. [Ottawa]: Counseil Canadien des bibliothéques.

Bateson, Nora. (1944). Rural Canada needs libraries. [Ottawa]: Canadian Library Council.

Bateson, Nora. (1945). Library plan for Jamaica. Kingston, [Jamaica]: Government Printer.

Minor publications: 

The Fraser Valley book van. Library Journal v.56, p.59-62
Prince Edward Island's demonstration. ALA Bulletin v.28, p.633-637
Prince Edward Island's demonstration. Ontario Library Review v.18, no.3, p.111-114
Library work in Prince Edward Island. Ontario Library Review v.19, no.3, p.109-110
The burning bush in Nova Scotia. Landward, Autumn, p.3, 7, 11
Latest survey of libraries in Canada. ALA Bulletin v.31, no.2, p.85-86
Labor and the library in Nova Scotia. [letter]. ALA Bulletin v.33, no.3, p.216
Regional libraries. Ontario Library Review v.23, no.2, p.117-18
1939Regional libraries for Nova Scotia. Ontario Library Review v.23, no.2, p.177-179
1940Laying library foundations in Nova Scotia. ALA Bulletin v.34, no.5, p.312
1942A library for our fighting forces. Public Affairs  Spring, p.131-133
1943Maritime Library Association. Ontario Library Review v.27, no.2, p.130-131
1943Libraries for today and tomorrow. Food for Thought v.3, no.5, p.12-19
1943Reading pursuits and possibilities. Food for Thought v.3, no.6, p.13-17
1945Today the minds of men. Library Journal v.70, p.997-999
1946Countrywide library service: Why not? Canadian Forum 26, p.90-91
1949Audio visual developments in libraries abroad. New Zealand Library Association. 18th Conference, Dunedin, p.23-25


Maritime Library Institute; Maritime Library Association; American Library Association,
Extension Committee; Canadian Library Council; New Zealand Library Association


A scholarship at the New Zealand Library School is named in her memory. Prince Edward Island has established the Nora Bateson Award for Excellence in Library Service. 


Nora Bateson directed the PEI Library Demonstration Project, which established more than 20  public libraries in that province during the period 1933-1936.  She had an enduring passion for adult education, and ensured that the rural libraries' role included supporting the adult study clubs that were flourishing at the time.  In 1938 she conducted a library survey of Nova Scotia, and later that year was invited to be the Director of Libraries for the Regional Libraries Commission of the province.  During the Second World War, Bateson and her assistant Marion Gilroy were seconded to the Canadian Legion Education Service to establish libraries for armed forces personnel in the Atlantic command. In 1944 she was asked to undertake a library survey of Jamaica, which became the foundation for the country's public library system.  She was also an active member of the committee set up to investigate the establishment of a national library association for Canada (resulting in the founding of the Canadian Library Association, 1946). After two years in charge of the Home Reading Department of the Detroit Public Library she went on to the New Zealand Library School (1947-1953) where she first served as Senior Lecturer, then Acting Director and Director for several years.


Research at Library and Archives Canada, Prince Edward Island Archives, Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, Archives of Ontario, McGill University Archives, St. Francis Xavier University Archives, Cape Breton University Archives (Beaton Institute).
Obit. Chronicle Herald, January 26, 1956.
Memorials: MLA Bulletin v.29, NO.2, p.20; CLA Bulletin v.12, no.6, p.232-234: Food for Thought v.16, p. 242-244.

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