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McGuire, Alice Rebecca Brooks (1902–1975)

Robin Dutton Biography Entry

Alice (Sally) Rebecca Brooks McGuire, librarian, was born in the northeastern United States on August 19, 1902. Her parents were schoolteachers, and her father later became a professor of education. After graduation from the Philadelphia High School for Girls, Sally Brooks earned a B.A. in Spanish from Smith College in 1923. She then worked from 1923 to 1925 and again from 1926 to 1928 as assistant librarian and librarian of laboratory schools at Slippery Rock State Teachers College, Pennsylvania. She temporarily left this job to pursue a degree in library science, which she earned from Drexel Institute of Technology in 1926. In 1936 she was awarded a Carnegie Fellowship to Columbia University to earn her M.L.S. After her studies at Columbia, she worked as an assistant professor of library science at Drexel Institute of Technology until 1944, when she went to the University of Chicago for a Ph.D. in library science; she finished the degree in 1958. During her time at Drexel, Sally McGuire also taught summer school at the University of Southern California, Albany State College, and Genesco State Teachers College. At the University of Chicago she began a journal that reviews children's literature, the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. She also wrote articles, edited columns on children's library services, and edited three major children's encyclopedias. She served as president of the American Association of School Librarians, was a member of the American Librarians Association council, and helped develop a widely used handbook, The Standards for School Library Programs (1960). After moving to Texas in 1949 she tried to teach at the University of Texas, but her husband taught there as a professor of social psychology, and nepotism rules prevented her being hired. From 1951 to 1968 she worked as a librarian at Casis Elementary, the University of Texas laboratory school, which was chosen as one of five demonstration schools in the United States in the Knapp School Library Project. After being named Librarian of the Year by the Texas Library Association in 1968, she finally taught at UT, from 1968 to 1972, in the Graduate School of Library Science. After retirement in 1972, she continued to travel and lecture. Sally Brooks married John Carson McGuire on May 8, 1947, while studying in Chicago. She died on July 9, 1975, while on vacation in Arizona.

Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Who's Who of American Women, 1966–67.


  • Women
  • Museums, Libraries, and Archives
  • Archivists
  • Librarians

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Robin Dutton, “McGuire, Alice Rebecca Brooks,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed February 25, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

This entry belongs to the following Handbook Special Projects: