Forrest Spaulding: A Library Legend
Born in Nashua, NH in 1882, Spaulding attended a private academy there, followed by seminary school in Massachusetts before finding employment as a newspaper reporter in New York City. There, he attended the New York Public Library’s library school, graduating in 1913. After working in libraries in New Jersey and New York, Spaulding became head of the Des Moines Public Library in 1917 at the age of 25. However in 1919 he decided to leave Des Moines for another job but even in the few short years as library director Spaulding not only was able to organized a library at Camp Dodge (IA) for World War I recruits but also military camp libraries in nearby states.
After serving as director of libraries for the Federal Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Lighthouse Services, Spaulding moved to Peru in 1920 to head the country’s libraries and museums. While in Peru, he was also a correspondent for the Associated Press. He is noted as saying that his efforts to report the news from that country gave him a bitter object lesson in censorship.