Poole, William Frederick, 1821–94, American librarian, bibliographer, and historian, b. Essex co., Mass. Poole was librarian of the Boston Athenæum (1856–69), of the public libraries of Cincinnati (1871–73) and Chicago (1874–87), and of the Newberry Library (1887–94). A pioneer in theories of library administration, he assisted in organizing many libraries, including the Chicago Public Library, the Newberry Library, and the library of the U.S. Naval Academy. A founder of the American Library Association (1876), he was later its president. He compiled the first general index to U.S. periodicals, Poole's Index to Periodical Literature (1848), and edited two other editions (1853, 1882). Later editions were edited by W. J. Fletcher; the last appeared in 1907. This index was replaced by the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature. Among Poole's numerous writings are monographs on American history, including Cotton Mather and Salem Witchcraft (1869) and Anti-Slavery Opinions before 1800 (1873).
Poole, William Frederick(1821–94) librarian, historian; born in Salem, Mass. As a student at Yale, where he graduated in 1849, he maintained and expanded a project indexing useful materials in books and magazines. This index was published in 1848 and was the forerunner to Poole's Index to Periodical Literature. He was librarian of the Boston Athenæum (1856–69) and he then helped to establish the library of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Cincinnati Public Library. In 1874 he became the first librarian of the Chicago Public Library and in 1887 he helped organize Chicago's Newberry Library, where he remained until his death. He is also known for his contributions to the profession of library administration.