Women’s History Month – Linda Eastman

Head Librarian Linda Eastman

We are not talking about the Linda Eastman who married Paul McCartney and was in Wings. This Linda Eastman lived in Cleveland. She began working for the Cleveland Public Library in 1892. She worked her way up in the library and was promoted to vice-librarian under William Brett. She and William rolled out the “open shelf system” where patrons could get their own books versus having to ask a librarian. For the time, this was a “radical” shift.

In 1918, William was tragically killed in a car accident. The Board of Directors unanimously voted Linda to Head Librarian. Making her the first women in the world to head a library of that size.

Linda oversaw the construction of the Main Building on Superior Ave, which opened in 1925. She was a big advocate for the blind and disabled and brought braille books into the library. She retired in 1938 at age 71. She is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Cleveland. Today, you can visit the Linda Eastman Reading Garden between the two library buildings downtown.

Learn more about Linda on one of our walking tours of downtown Cleveland. To see our schedule and book your tour click here.