Ellen Coolidge Burke


Born in Alexandria to a family which traced its ancestry to Thomas Jefferson, Ellen Coolidge Burke lived here most of her life and received her B.A. and M.A. from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.  After working at the Alexandria Library for almost ten years as a cataloger and reference librarian, Miss Burke became Director in 1948, a position she held until her retirement in June 1969.  Miss Burke was responsible for bringing one of the state's first bookmobile services to the city. Under her leadership the system grew to include two branch libraries.

The Burke branch on Seminary Road opened in April 1968 and the Duncan branch on Commonwealth Avenue opened in December 1969. Miss Burke was a member of several professional library associations and was active in the League of Women Voters, the Urban League and other civic associations.