Now retired, Margaret E.C. Howland excelled professionally as a librarian for more than four decades. At the start of her career, she worked for Combustion Engineering Inc. in Windsor, Connecticut, as librarian from 1957 to 1961. She furthered her career as a law cataloguer with the Connecticut State Library in Hartford in 1961 and progressed to the role of librarian for the Factory Insurance Association in Hartford for one year. Ms. Howland then joined the Travelers Research Center, Inc., as librarian from 1962 to 1968. During Ms. Howland’s employment in Connecticut, she was an active member of the Connecticut Valley chapter of the Special Libraries Association, where she served as president for one year.
Ms. Howland found success as director of the library at Greenfield Community College (GCC) in Massachusetts from 1968 to 1990. While serving in that position, she witnessed the construction of a new library facility and assisted in its development process. She was a member of the Massachusetts Conference of Chief Librarians of Public Higher Educational Institutions (MCCLPHEI) and served as president, vice president, secretary and committee chair. Ms. Howland notes that the highlight of her career was her time as director of the library at GCC.
In addition to her primary endeavors, Ms. Howland was curator of the Archibald MacLeish Collection at GCC from 1974 to 2019. A published author, her written works include two volumes dated 1991 and 1993, both titled “Descriptive Catalog of the Archibald MacLeish Collection at Greenfield Community College,” and co-authored “Archibald MacLeish: An Annotated Bibliography.” She also wrote seven more descriptive catalogs to aid in researching the range of 6077 holdings in the collection. Ms. Howland served on the council of the Pucumtuck Valley Memorial Association from 2002 to 2011.
A graduate of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, Ms. Howland earned a Bachelor of Arts in 1949. Several years later, she received a Master of Library Science from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven in 1972. She concluded her academic efforts with a Master of Public Administration in 1979 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During her retirement years Ms. Howland participated in historical society activities related to her interest in antiques.
Ms. Howland would say that her upbringing and family had an influence on her career choice, and she became involved in her profession because her mother, Barbara Wood Clapp, was a librarian for a while in East Hampton, Massachusetts. Although her mother did not like being a librarian, she liked it and was a great reader. Her father was an engineer. However, the mentor who motivated and inspired Ms. Howland was her husband, David Frederick Howland, who supported her throughout her career no matter what happened.