Saturday, December 05, 2015

Dorothy Keefe, Sandusky’s “Globe Trotting” Librarian

Miss Dorothy Keefe, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Keefe, began working at the Sandusky Library in 1915. She was a graduate of Sandusky High School, and attended college at Chautauqua, New York and Western Reserve college in Cleveland, Ohio. She was also an outstanding musician, having studied with Professor N.E. Fox. For several years she was in charge of the library’s outreach services to various sections of Erie County. In November of 1922, she was named Librarian of the Sandusky Library. An article which appeared in the February 18, 1928 issue of the Sandusky Star Journal featured the headline “Librarian is efficient in various lines.”

Miss Keefe often spoke to community groups. She was an active member of the Harlequins, a local theatrical organization. When a musical revue was presented in 1937, for the benefit of Providence Hospital, she performed a dance solo entitled “Sea Gardens”  and appeared in the number “Castilian Castanet Dance.”  

In 1938 Miss Keefe took a five month world cruise aboard a British freighter. She traveled to the innermost parts of China, India and Africa, and took a camel caravan across the African desert. Though at times the food was terrible, and she became sick after having been bitten by fleas, Dorothy told the local Rotary Club that “she wouldn’t take a thousand dollars for her experiences, nor would she go through the same experience again for ten times that amount.”  She became known as Sandusky’s “globe trotting librarian.” 

In the Spring of 1939, Dorothy Keefe announced that she would be resigning as chief Librarian of the Sandusky Library, in order to move to England. Miss Mary McCann took over as Librarian of the Sandusky Library in September, 1939, a post she held until 1976. Miss Keefe married Frank Gordon, an engineer for a British freighter line, in November of 1939. At the time of her brother’s death in 1961, Mrs. Frank Gordon was residing in New York. Dorothy Gordon passed away in Florida in 1980. 

Here is a picture of the staff of the Sandusky Library from the 1930s; Dorothy Keefe is the second person on the left:

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