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Learning About Our Ancestors Segment, Part 6 – Enid M. Baa, Pioneering Librarian

  • Broadcast in Culture
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Ms Enid Maria Baa, for whom the Public Library in Downtown Charlotte Amalie is named, played a huge role as a pioneer in establishing and managing the libraries of the US Virgin Islands.

Ms Baa took part in establishing the very first High School library and went on to matriculate at Howard University. She moved on to Hampton Institute in the midst of her undergraduate career, graduating from Hampton's Library Science Program in 1933 Upon her return to the U.S. Virgin Islands, she became the first woman to occupy a cabinet position as she led the Dept. of Public Libraries. .Under her leadership, the territory's libraries flourished.

She was an exchange librarian for the University of Puerto Rico and worked to encourage youngsters and adults to take advantage of the wonders to be found within books. Not content to rest upon her accomplishments, Enid M. Baa returned to scholarly pursuits (at Columbia University), finishing undergraduate work in English Literature and the Humanities. She honed her skills as a librarian at the university's library.

Ms Enid M. Baa retired from government service in 1974; by now the fledgling Dept of Public Libraries had blossomed into the Dept of Libraries, Archives, and Museums! The St. Thomas Public Library was dedicated to her on March 30, 1978. She died on the island of her birth, St. Thomas, on July 25, 1992.


Courtesy of Friends of the St. Thomas Public Libraries who are also advocating strongly for the creation of a new library in the center of St, Thomas that would be accessible to the larger community. You can help. Visit them at: http://www.fostpl.org/