Oklahoma Library Legends Banner

Mildred Laughlin

Oklahoma Library Legends

Aaronson, Alfred

Anthony, Nancy

Bierman, Ken

Boies, Kay

Brawner, Lee

Brown, Ruth

Butcher, N.E.

Carnegie, Andrew Foundation

Clark, Bob

Clarke, Polly

Corwin, Aarone

Dale, Dorothea

Delaney, Oliver

Delphian Clubs and Societies

Dessauer, Phil

Dieterlen, Beverly

Dover, Leta

DuVall, Frances

Ellison, Sandy

Estes-Rickner, Bettie

Ferguson, Milton J.

Ferguson, Mrs. Thomas B. (Eva Shartel)

Frasier, Sally Freeman

Friends of Libraries groups around Oklahoma

Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO)

Friends of Tulsa City-County Library

Funk, Mrs. Trimmier Sloan

Gates, Bill & Melinda Foundation

Gorman, Edith

Hale, Kathy

Hand, Elsie

Hanway, Wayne

Hardesty, Roger & Donna

Helmerich, Peggy

Henke, Esther Mae

Hewey, Dell

Hinkle, John

Hinshaw, Marilyn

Johnson, Edward R.

Johnson, Jeanie

Keene, Jan

Kennedy, Frances

Lau, Ray

Laughlin, Mildred

Lester, June

Literary Clubs

Low, Edmon

Lowry, William (Bill)

Maddox, Eugenia (Frances)

Marable, Mary Hays

Martin, Allie Beth

Masters, Anne Rounds

McAnally, Arthur

McGlenn, Alma Reid

McVey, Susan

Miles, Ava

Miller, Gail

Miltimore, Cora

Morgan, Anne Hodges

Morris, Donna

Motter, Robert T., Jr.

Motter, Robert T., Sr.

Noble Foundation

Norberg, Lillian Born

Norvell, Donna

Parker, Mrs. J.C.

Patterson, Lotsee

Phelps, Edith Allen

Phillips, John & Vicki

Porter, Cora Case

Rader, Jesse

Ramsay, R.W.

Ratliff, Julia Brady

Ray, Dee Ann

Robbins, Louise S.

Rock, Marian

Rouse, Roscoe and Charlie Lou

Sanders, Jan

Saulmon, Sharon

Segal, Bob & Pat

Sherman, Mary

Skvarla, Donna

Spriestersbach, Barbara

Staggs, Barbara

Sturdivant, Nan

Swisher, Robert

Thomas, Della

Thompson, Clinton M. Jr. (Marty)

Tomberlin, Irma

Townsend, Mrs. Hosea

Troy, Forrest (Frosty)

Vesely, Marilyn

Weaver-Meyers, Pat

Wentroth, Mary Ann

Willingham, Gerry

Women's Federated Clubs

Women's Clubs of Oklahoma

Woodrum, Pat

Young, Bill

Zarrow, Henry & Anne

Mildred Laughlin Image

When Professor Mildred Laughlin retired from the University of Oklahoma in 1992, she had been a teacher for fifty years, and she was yet to be inducted into the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame.

Professor Laughlin had had a successful career in Kansas school libraries when she left Wichita during the 1960s to become the first elementary school librarian in Norman and to pursue a doctorate at OU. Upon her graduation, she accepted a faculty position at the University of Southern Mississippi and later at the University of Iowa before returning as a tenured professor to OU where she continued to dedicate her teaching and research to young people and to libraries.

While at OU, she founded the Festival of Books Conference; created school library courses that were adopted across the School’s curriculum; promoted children’s and young adult literature as a joy and an art worthy of literary criticism; established the Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award; created the Mildred Laughlin Scholarship, adding to that fund, even to this Centennial, through the legacy of her book royalties; and earned the Oklahoma Library Association’s Distinguished Service Award. Guiding this generous life, were the vision that literature for young people is an avenue through which one can form positive relationships with all library communities and the vision that reading pleasure reinforces literacy skills and engages young people in responses that lead to critical and creative thinking.

For her students, she was a beloved mentor and friend who inspired their lifelong enthusiasm for libraries and their confidence that they could create rich and happy learning environments. The inspiration, one can imagine, that she once offered a one-room Kansas school, she brought full circle on a June evening in 1994 when she was inducted into the Educators Hall of Fame. In that acceptance speech, her last formal presentation, she spoke of various members of the audience, validating and inspiring one and all, as she explained what each had contributed, as student, friend, and colleague, to libraries, to education, and to her life.

Return to the Oklahoma Library Legends