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Lester Eugene Asheim Edit Profile

educator , librarian

Lester Eugene Asheim was a librarian and scholar of library science.


Lester Asheim was born on January 22, 1914 in Spokane, Washington. His family moved to Seattle, which is where he grew up until he went to the University of Washington.


He earned two undergraduate degrees at the University of Washington, one in English in 1936, and another in Librarianship in 1937. He also earned his Masters in American literature in 1941 from the same institution.


Asheim devoted his career to the study of library science. In his early career, he held reference posts at the University of Washington in Seattle, at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary at McNeil Island, and with the U.S. Federal Public Housing Authority. In 1948 he joined the faculty at the University of Chicago as an assistant professor. By 1952 he had risen to the rank of associate professor and dean. In 1961 he began work at the American Library Association (ALA) as director of its international relations office; he became the ALA’s director of the Office for Library Education in 1966. In 1971 he returned to the University of Chicago as a professor, then he left for the University of North Carolina three years later. At the latter post, he served as William Raud Kenan, Jr., Professor of Library Science, becoming professor emeritus in 1984. He wrote, edited, and contributed to numerous books during his career.


  • Asheim made some of the most important contributions in Library science through his work on censorship in the library atmosphere. He was the recipient of several honors, including the Joseph W. Lippincott Award in 1976.

    He was included among the "100 most important leaders we had in the 20th century" by the American Library Association.



  • honorary life member

    American Library Association

  • honorary life member

    Southeastern Library Association

  • American Association of University Professors

  • Phi Beta Kappa

  • Zeta Beta Tau


Sol Asheim

Bertha (Bergman) Asheim