September 18, 2017

Youth Services Librarian Margaret Skiff Dies

By LJ Staff

Margaret Skiff, coordinator of children’s services at the Cuyahoga County (OH) Public Library from 1940 to 1978, died on March 24. She was 91.

Under Skiff’s direction, children’s services gained recognition as a well-respected professional program that provided a children’s book and audiovisual review center for school and public librarians within a 50-mile radius of Cleveland, Ohio. Under her guidance, Skiff’s staff learned to defend the rights of excellent children’s collections and services. Many prominent librarians began their careers under Skiff: Linda Perkins, children’s services coordinator at the Berkeley Public Library, Penny Markey, coordinator of children’s services at the Los Angeles County Public Library, and Barbara Barstow, children’s services manager at the Cuyahoga County Public Library.

Skiff was a frequent contributor to American Library Association publications and School Library Journal. She served on the combined Newbery/Caldecott Committee, the Notable Books Committee, and the Library of Congress Advisory Commission on Selection of Books for Blind and Physically Handicapped Children. She was also inducted into the Ohio Librarian Hall of Fame, and was a past president of the Women’s National Book Association.