SHHHSH! This is a Library!


blanesclocktower fixedA Lane Tech graduate once commented that “she had good ears and she would catch you talking, even in a whisper!”

 Her name was Miss Dorothy Schumacher, and was the capable and well-known Lane Technical high school librarian who served students well for at least 30 years.

Read more of her story


Dorothy Schumacher is standing on the left with two sisters and mother Alma

She was born on Thursday, January 2, 1896,  the daughter of William Schumacher 1865-1941 and Alma Banholzer 1875-1944. Her father was born in Germany and was a shipping clerk for a wholesale house. Her mother born in Illinois.

It was in 1896, the year of her birth,  that Utah was admitted as the 45th state. In June of that year Marconi applied for a patent: the radio, and Henry Ford completes the Ford Quadricycle, his first gasoline powered automobile.

As a child she grew up at 403 Willow Ave. in Chicago, not far from the “Old” Lane.  She attended Northwestern University in 1917 as a liberal arts student.  For most all of her adult life she lived at 644 N. Long in Chicago.


The 1930 census indicates that she was already a high school librarian, possibly at the old Lane Tech  building at Division and Sedgwick. sch1934The 1940 census shows her income to be only $2000 a year as a school librarian at the new Lane.


58 lane addison side
The new Lane at Addison and Western

She then continued her work when the new school opened in 1934 at 2501 W. Addison and appears  to have stayed there for her entire career into the 1960’s.  For decades, She helped students read, discover,  and research. There were many if not hundreds of library aides that worked with her  over the years. ds2jugf5582502946_3fc67cc233

dorothy schumacher

Dorothy Schumacher died June 13, 1986 in The Admiral, a retirement community at 909 W. Foster. She was t 90 years of age and had remained single all her life. She was buried June 16 in Glen Oak Cemetery, Westchester Illinois. stone

I am sure that many Lane students who graduated between 1930 and the 1960s will well remember her and her dedication to her school.

If any of my readers remember Miss Dorothy Schumacher, the lifelong librarian who faithfully served Lane Tech high school so well, please quietly whisper a comment below.


10 thoughts on “SHHHSH! This is a Library!”

  1. Those underappreciated and underpaid Chicago Public School teachers and employees had to deal with the likes of us. The underpaid part I cant rectify but I would like to think that they knew someday some of us would surely be very appreciative of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the article. My late husband graduated from Lane in 1961. His old yearbooks are stored in some boxes in the attic. I’m going to unearth them and see if I can find Dorothy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Being of a devilish age, some of us from one end of the library would whisper something while her back was turned. She would whirl around, but everyone had their head down. Slowly, she would stalk toward where the sound had come from. As soon as she was on the other side of the library, someone with his head hidden by a book would repeat the offending sound. This went on several times. We were a bit mean, but it was fun. Rest in peace Dorothy, and thank you.
    Richard Bailey,
    Class of January, ’62

    Liked by 1 person

    1. great story. we did something similar to Mr Paul Hauver in Physics. a nice guy. We would mouth words without sound, he would crank up hesaring aid in both ears and then someone would bellow, causing a screeching feedback. I am ashamed even today. Barry Fleig 1962

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Librarians in the Chicago Public Schools were originally employees of the City of Chicago, not the Board of Education. Although they were to have a library science education, they were not required to have a teaching degree. The books were the property of the Chicago Public Library, and were stamped with the CPL stamp and the school stamp. There may be a few CPL books still around in older schools. Sometime in the 1950s or maybe 1960s, this arrangement changed. Newly-hired librarians had to have a teaching degree, were named Teacher-Librarians, and paid a regular teacher’s salary. The books became the property of CPS, and going forward, CPS purchased the books for the schools. Miss Virginia Tiege (sp.) was the last City of Chicago librarian in the school system when she retired from Lane Tech in 1975. The Lane Tech Library was officially named the William S. Bogan Library in honor of the first principal of Lane. His picture hangs over the clock in a library photo above.


  5. Alas, I did not know her – entered in the Fall of 1971. I was, however, a library aide all four years at Lane. Didn’t pull any pranks on the librarians. Actually, one got me to read some interesting fiction, particularly Bellamy’s Looking Backward. “A curious little book you may find interesting.”


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