an exhibition celebrating the dedication of the
Rosa Keller Branch
Part II

Toward the end of Mrs. Keller's second term on the Board, her colleagues decided to recognize her considerable contributions by nominating her for the Louisiana Library Association's Modisette award, given annually to an outstanding library trustee from the Pelican State. NOPL's letter of nomination recounted her role in search of financial stability for the system, acknowledged her services to the underprivileged citizens of New Orleans, and enumerated her varied activities in support of public libraries beyond the city limits.

The letter went on to enumerate Rosa Keller's "personal qualifications," among them the following:
--Ability, judgment, and common sense which she uses effectively in promoting the interest of the library.
--Open-mindedness and objectivity. She has the courage and ability to hold strong convictions yet recognizes different
points of view.
--Vast experience in politics and political connections make her an invaluable asset to the Board.
--An undying love for books and reading, and a healthy respect for the power and value of the printed word.
--A consistently demonstrated willingness to give freely of her time working in the best interests of the library.
--A vast knowledge of the resources of the community, both human and natural.

[New Orleans Public Library Records]

Modisette Award

[Right] Capt. Neville Levy and Rosa Keller served together on the Board for many years. Capt. Levy was chairman from 1961-1968, the period during which Mrs. Keller "came into her own" as a Board member. In 1972 she supported her old colleague for the Modisette award.

[Neville Levy Papers]

[Left] Rosa Keller did, of course, receive the Modisette award in 1970, though the attendant publicity, hinted at in Ruth Reedy's letter, more than likely was not what she would have chosen for herself. The Modisette award capped the first phase of Rosa Keller's career on the Public Library Board of Directors. One year later she embarked on the second phase with her election as chairman of the Board.

[New Orleans Public Library Records]

Letter from Neville Levy

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