Henriette Davidson Avram (7 October 1919 – 22 April 2006) was a computer programmer and systems analyst who developed the MARC format (Machine Readable Cataloging), which is the national and international data standard for bibliographic and holdings information in libraries.
MARC her Words: An Interview with Henriette Avram, 1989
Source: Lucia J. Rather and Beacher Wiggins, “MARC her Words: An Interview with Henriette Avram,” American Libraries, October 1989, 860.
- “From the beginning…you (the ALA) have welcomed and supported me. Tonight you have gone one step further—you have adopted me.” She later explained, “It was at that moment, and ever after, that I regarded myself as a librarian”. (p.860.)
- At the acceptance of the Margaret Mann Citation
- “As I advanced in my career in librarianship, I have been a woman in a man’s world. However, this issue has not been an important factor in my thinking.” (p.861)
- “In the early days of MARC, there was a small team of people dedicated to one thing—getting the MARC Pilot Project underway. It was a team spirit that I shall never forget….” (p.860)
They Won! And did it ALA’s Way, 1997
Source: American Libraries, “They Won! And did it ALA’s Way,” September 1997, 70; Ling-yuh W. (Miko) Pattie, “Henriette Davidson Avram, the Great Legacy,” Cataloging and Classification Quarterly 25, no. 2/3 (1998)
- “Yes, I noted that there were hardly any or no women in certain high level positions. But as time passed, I, along with others, did attain, and with pride for managing to do so, a series of positions in the ladder.” (p.75-76)
- “It’s an honor. ALA has been one of the closest organizations I’ve been involved with; I’ve worked with people at ALA since day one. ALA has been a great supporter and a big help to me. People were the most rewarding part, all the people I got to know, the support from people around the world. I couldn’t have done it all myself without all that help.” (p.73)
- On receiving life membership to ALA
- “I believe the Internet is a great technical achievement. However, when it comes to the organization of information so that we can locate, select, and distinguish among bibliographic items for serious research, the Internet has a long way to go.” (p.76)
- “In my opinion, libraries and librarians are needed more than ever, and the literature is noting this more often. In the development of MARC, it was clear to me that we needed two talents, i.e., computer expertise and library expertise. Neither talent could have succeeded alone. We need this more than ever today. Librarians must become computer literate so that they can understand the relationship between the technology applied and the discipline of their profession.” (p.77)