Mixing Libraries and Politics Old School

One interesting thing I learned at the Sask Library Association conference this past weekend was that Carlyle King, who was influential in a number of areas including academia, the arts and also in libraries as a long-time Board Chair of Saskatoon Public Library and as President of the Saskatchewan Library Association (and who has an SPL branch named in his honour), was also very active politically.

King’s second life was politics. He was elected to the provincial executive of the CCF in 1939. He ran against George Williams for leadership of the party at the 1940 convention and lost, but gained about a third of the vote. He was elected president of the party in 1945 and remained until 1960, meeting every second Sunday with T.C. Douglas. He ran a number of election campaigns and wrote CCF pamphlets including “What is Democratic Socialism?” King was also chair of the major pacifist organization in Canada, the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

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