Tribute to man, 101, who improved Doncaster libraries

Gerald Selby, former Doncaster chief librarian, who has died aged 101.
Gerald Selby, former Doncaster chief librarian, who has died aged 101.

A former chief librarian has died at the age of 101.

Gerald Selby was first appointed as senior assistant librarian in Doncaster in 1938 and from 1940-45 he served in the Royal Navy as a signals officer. His war experiences included service on the Malta convoys and he was on one of the first ships into Norway after the liberation.

In 1946, on the retirement of Robert Sleight, Mr Selby was appointed chief librarian in the borough.

The avid reader and artist spearheaded its expansion which included establishing a Local History library and creating a network of branches. He also introduced services to schools and the Doncaster Royal Infirmary and formulated a music library and picture loan service. In 1969 he oversaw the move from the old St George Gate library to Waterdale.

Following a partial retirement he returned as Local History Librarian and retired in his seventies in 1984.

Mr Selby, who was married to Evelyn and has two children, was a cricketer for Doncaster Town’s Thursday team and continued as a committee member of the cricket club. He was a vice-president until his death on May 29.