Former Library Commissioner Donald Sager Passes

Donald J. Sager, Commissioner of the Chicago Public Library from 1978 to 1981, passed away on January 1, 2015.

Sager had a long and distinguished career in public libraries. In addition to Chicago, he directed libraries in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Columbus, Ohio; and Kingston, New York, among other cities.

As head of the Chicago Public Library, Sager developed a number of innovative programs, such as “America’s Ethnic Heritage,” a series of literary events that looked at the literature of Chicago’s diverse communities. In 1979 he was instrumental in assembling the exhibit, The Vatican, on the occasion of Pope John Paul II’s visit to Chicago. In addition to rare books and manuscripts from local libraries, the exhibit featured treasures from the Vatican, such as Constitutions of the Sistine Chapel (circa 1543). Sager also guided the Chicago Public Library’s first steps toward a fully automated circulation system.

Learn more about Sager in his obituary.

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