Jul 28, 2011

Fay M. Blake (1920–2011)

Fay M. Blake, former faculty member of the UC Berkeley School of Librarianship and School of Library & Information Studies, has died. She was 90.

Fay M. Blake was born September 15, 1920, in Manhattan, New York. She had a lifelong love of books; one of her earliest memories was sneaking a book out of the New York Public Library as a child, since she had already checked out the maximum number allowed to children and couldn't bear to wait all weekend to read the next one.

Blake attended Hunter College, studied librarianship at the University of Southern California, and earned her Ph.D. in English at UCLA. She served on the faculty of the Berkeley library school from 1971 to 1984. At Berkeley, Blake was passionate about the inclusion of marginalized groups; she established new courses on public libraries and literacy and on popular culture; she also founded the school's field studies program, for library students to work with underserved populations. For years, Blake supervised the popular undergraduate course Bibliography I.

Blake helped organize the Librarians Association of the University of California (LAUC), UC's systemwide library association, was appointed to the California State Library Commission by Governor Jerry Brown, and was a longtime volunteer at the Berkeley Public Library. She was the author of The Strike in the American Novel (1972) and Verbis Non Factis: Words Meant to Influence Political Choices in the United States, 1800-1980 (1995, along with her husband, H. Morton Newman).

Last updated: October 4, 2016