Biography of Clarence E. Sherman

As a result of his decision to devote his life to library work, Mr. Sherman, after graduating from college, took a special course in the New York State Library School. After having spent some ten years as librarian of a well-known college and later of a large public library, both in Massachusetts, he came to some eight years ago and since then has been continuously connected with the Providence Public Library, of which he is now the librarian. In this capacity he has done work of lasting value to the community and he is regarded as one of the most successful librarians in this part of the country and as an authority on library management.

Clarence E. Sherman was born in Brooklyn, New York, January 14, 1887, a son of James H. and Josephine E. (Hamer) Sherman. His father, a native of Brooklyn, is engaged in street railway construction. Mr. Sherman’s mother is a native of Jamaica, Long Island, New York. Having received his early education in the public grammar and high schools of Brockton, Massachusetts, Mr. Sherman then attended Williston Academy and Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, from which latter he was graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in 1911. The next year he spent at the New York State Library School, graduating there in 1912. He then became assistant librarian at Amherst College, in which capacity he served during 1912-17. From there he was called to head the public library at Lynn, Massachusetts, which he directed very successfully during 1917-22. Since 1922, he has been connected with the Providence Public Library, first, until 1928, as assistant librarian, then, until 1930, as associate librarian, and finally, since 1930, as librarian. He has contributed materially to making the Providence Public Library more useful to the community and to extending its influence. At one time Mr. Sherman lectured for two years on library science at the Rhode Island College of Education and he is now a lecturer at Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts. During the World War he served as supervisor of transport service for the American Library Association War Service. He is an ex-officio member of the board of trustees of the Rhode Island School of Design. He is also a member of the Massachusetts Library Association, the American Library Association and the Rhode Island Library Association, of which latter he is a past president. Other organizations in which he maintains membership include the following: Providence Chamber of Commerce; Providence Rotary Club, of which he is secretary; Providence University Club; Barnard Club; Players Club of Providence; and Delta Kappa Epsilon Fraternity. In politics he is an independent Republican, while his religious affiliations are with the Westminster Unitarian Church of Providence, of the board of trustees of which he is a past president and now a member. Mr. Sherman’s principal hobby is books, and especially all books by and on Stevenson and Mayfield. He is also fond of outdoor life and spends much of his leisure time at Martha’s Vineyard.

Mr. Sherman married, in 1913, Inez C. Copeland, a native of Brockton, Massachusetts. Mr. and Mrs. Sherman have four children:

  1. Stuart C. Sherman.
  2. Carolyn Sherman.
  3. Louise C. Sherman.
  4. Richard D. Sherman.

Source: Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.

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