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Sara Tyler Merit Award

Miss Sara Tyler
Sara Elizabeth Tyler (December 31, 1910—January 24, 2001)

A lifetime resident of Bowling Green

A graduate of Bowling Green Training School, Bowling Green High School, Western Kentucky Teachers College and Peabody College for Teachers, with a master's degree in library science, Miss Tyler, a Warren County native, spent all of her life on or near “The Hill.” She lived in various residences on State Street close to the University.

Her parents hoped she would pursue a degree in business, but Miss Tyler knew that meant secretarial courses. She countered them with, "I like to read, I'll be a librarian."

Sara Elizabeth TylerHer educational background

  • M.A. Library Science, George Peabody College, 1944-45
  • A.B., Library Science Western Kentucky State College 1928-1932
  • Additional coursework in English 1932-3

Her 42-year professional career at Western Kentucky University

  • First University Archivist, spring 1972, until her retirement in 1975.
  •  One of only two ranking female administrators in 1969
  • Director of Library Services, Helm Library-Division of Library Services, following the retirement of Margie Helm,1965 -1972
  • Head Librarian, College Library, 1956-1965
  • Head of the Periodicals Department, College Library,1937-1956
  • Junior librarian in Gordon Wilson Library, 1933-1937
  • Miss Tyler also held numerous professional memberships and leadership positions, including SELA(Southeastern Library Association) Director, 1954-1958

And a visionary

"When I visited Windsor Castle, I used the individual sound lecture. Would't it be great if we could have these for library tours?!"

(Reflection on a Sabbatical Journey, 1971)

Established by colleagues of Miss Sara Elizabeth Tyler following her retirement in 1975, the award is a tribute to her 42 years of service to Western Kentucky University as a teacher, Director of Library Services, and University Archivist.  The award shall be given to a member of the faculty for outstanding dedicated service in the field of librarianship.

Sara Tyler Award Recipients

Nancy Baird 2007
Sally Ann Strickler
Peggy Wright
Evelyn Thurman 1989
Vera Guthrie 1984
Imogene Foster 1980

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 Last Modified 11/9/15