Mrs. Jennie Thornburg Jennings was born in Farmland, Indiana in the late 1860's. The family moved to Dallas County, Iowa, where her education was begun in the country schools. After three years at the Iowa State College, she matriculated at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, from which she graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Letters.
After graduation, Mrs. Jennings was employed in the Cornell University Library, first as Superintendent of Periodicals, Serials and Binding, then as Cataloger and later as Head Cataloger. While at Cornell Univ., she took special courses in Bibliography. She also attended the summer sessions of the New York State Library School in Albany, NY.
Upon her marriage to Mr. Thomas Brownfield Jennings, Mrs. Jennings resigned from Cornell University Library to take up residence in Arizona. But Mr. Jennings' eyesight, having been seriously impaired as the result of an accident, caused Mrs. Jennings to return to library work. She taught cataloging and classification in the Riverside Library School at Riverside, California; she was appointed Head Cataloger in Randolph-Macon Woman's College, Lynchburg, Virginia. Two years later she became Reference Librarian at Iowa State College.
In June 1917, Mrs. Jennings came to the St. Paul Library as Chief of the Catalog Division and Head of the Training Class. In September 1919, she was appointed Assistant Librarian, which she has held until being appointed Librarian in 1931. During the eleven years that library apprentice classes were conducted by Mrs. Jennings more than one hundred assistants availed themselves of the opportunity to take these courses. She has also given special lectures on Reference work in the Summer Sessions of the University of Minnesota Library School.
Mrs. Jennings was a member of the American Library Association and attended its National Conferences in 1921-23, 1925, 1928, 1930. She served as Chairman of the Catalog Section of the American Library Association in 1921-22 and was Chairman for three years of the Committee on Regional Groups of Catalogers. Mrs. Jennings was also a member of the Bibliographical Society of America, the Minnesota Library Association the Twin City Library Club and the Twin City Catalogers Round Table. She was the author of a number of professional articles which have appeared in various library periodicals.
Mrs. Jennings passed away in St. Paul in the mid to late 1950's.
Submitted on 7/1/96