Electra C. Doren

1861 – 1927

Electra C. Doren deserves credit for building the strong public library system that Montgomery County residents enjoy today. She began working for the library at the age of 18 and eventually became head librarian. She left Dayton in 1905 to serve as director of the Western Reserve University Library School but returned to help rebuild Montgomery County’s library services after the 1913 flood. Doren led library staff and volunteers in salvaging damaged items, helping the library reopen to the public just 3 months after the waters receded. She was responsible for several innovations in library services including establishing a card catalog and opening the shelves to public browsing. Doren was a member of the Women’s Suffrage Movement and donated her collection of primary sources to the library where it forms the basis for the largest collection of suffrage materials in the nation.