Let’s Talk Clovis: Clovis Librarian Chester F. Lindstrom, 1959 Clovis Library News Article

Librarian Chester F. Lindstrom. (Courtesy of Clovis Museum)

Librarian Chester F. Lindstrom became the Clovis Librarian in the summer of 1958. His doctor had advised him to leave Minneapolis, MN to improve his health (chronic asthma). He, his wife Charlotte and six children made their home in Tarpey Village. All six graduated from Clovis High.

Their children: Gary enlisted and remained in the Marine Corp; Tom was a choral teacher at Clovis High and a counselor; Dan was a music director (band and chorus) for Madera Unified for over 30 years and is currently the director of the Clovis Community Band; Rebecca is a retired Nurse Practitioner; Ruth is a retired CUSD teacher and administrator; Paula is a manager for EECU (over 30 years).

The Clovis Independent published Chester’s article on January 22, 1959. It clearly defines the significant resources available (housed in the 1914 Carnegie Library).

The Clovis’ population was 5,546 (1960 census), George Kastner was Principal of Clovis High and William Atkin was Superintendent of CUSD.

“People in the library profession often feel that the general public is uninformed about reference books. While the term “reference” needs no clarification, what a library has in this field of information books is usually unknown except to the library patron who makes frequent use of this section.

Obviously, the collection in a branch library is small, but its merit does not lie always in its quantity, but in its quality. Also, a branch library should have those reference works, which are pertinent to the community in which it serves.

Your branch library comes close to filling most of the needs of the users of the library. We have most of the standard works found in a library of this size, and circulation. Our reference shelf gets much use from colleges and high school students, but your librarians feel that perhaps many of your business and professional people are not aware of the reference collection that we do have.

For instance, we have recently started a shelf of metropolitan telephone books: we presently cover all of Los Angeles and San Francisco, also we have Sweet’s Catalog Service file containing the Engineering Construction, and Product Design files. These are important reference works for people in industry. Mac Rae’s Blue Book containing addresses and names of companies selling equipment, products, or materials to industry.

We maintain a file of catalogs of the latest U.S. Government Documents. We have the usual information books including the Statistical Abstract of the United States, which is a compilation of statistics that are obtained by government agencies.

Space does not allow me to make a complete list of our encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, biographies, literary indexes and yearbooks, but I would like to list the new reference books that we have received in your Clovis library and the agency or author which produced the book:  “Occupational Outlook Handbook” U.S. Dept. of Labor. “Statistical Abstract for the U.S.” U.S. Dept. of Commerce. “Land The 1958 Yearbooks of Agriculture”, U.S. Dept of Agriculture. “Reference Book”, California Division of Real Estate. “U.S. Gov’t Organizational Manual”, U.S. General Services Administration. “Information and Almanac”, California. “Soil, The yearbook of agriculture” U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.

We have also received a copy of the Rockefeller report on Education, “The Pursuit of Excellence” a very important study of the problems that face American education today.

Your Clovis Library hopes that you will use its facilities whether for reference works or pleasure reading real soon. We are anxious to serve you.”

The Lindstrom family and Chester’s dedication to our library are a part of our rich heritage.

Peg Bos
Peg Bos is the president of the Clovis Museum on 4th and Pollasky avenues in Old Town Clovis. She not only manages the museum but she also writes her Let's Talk Clovis column in our publication which features and highlight the amazing history of our city and culture. One fun fact about Peg Bos, she was the first female mayor of Clovis from 1984-86.