Betty Holpert

Areas of Achievement: 
Library Science

Honored By

Honored by: Bolding, Betsy & Holpert, Terry & Holpert, Peter
Date submitted: September 01, 2016
Gift: Engraved Paver, Large

Betty Kay (Ginsberg) Holpert was born in Brooklyn, New York on May 15, 1923 and grew up in Brooklyn in a large, multi-generational immigrant family. She attended public schools and was an avid reader and patron of the Brooklyn Public Library. She graduated from Brooklyn College in 1944 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and graduated from Pratt Institute in 1945 with a Bachelor of Library Science.

Betty, husband Merrill, and their children moved to Tucson in 1952 and Betty served as a community volunteer, participating in and leading a variety of organizations, including various PTAÌÇs, the Tucson Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, Information & Referral, the American Field Service, and Tucson East Community Mental Health Center.

In 1966, Betty returned to paid work, as a cataloger for the Tucson Public Library and soon ascended to management. From 1968-74, Betty was the Manager of the Wilmot Branch of the Tucson Public Library, and from 1974-85, she was the Manager of the Main Library Region.

Betty retired from the Tucson Public Library in June 1985 to enjoy traveling the world, explore other interests, and spend more time with her family and friends. She appointed herself 'Public Library Advocate at Large' soon after. In her new role, she 'educated' state and local political figures about the essential role public libraries play in protecting democracy, contributing to economic development, and promoting community literacy and livability. In 1987, Betty was honored by the Arizona State Library Association with its Distinguished Service Award and in 1998, she co-founded the Tucson-Pima Library Foundation, to develop a permanent endowment for the Pima Public Library system. The Wilmot Library Reading Room was named in her honor in 2009.

Betty was known for her extraordinary kindness, positive attitude, and love of libraries. She valued family and friendship, learning and education, music, theater, opera, yoga, and public and community institutions. Betty died on July 26, 2015 at age 92.