Harrogate, Tennessee, October 30, 2017—Harley C. Brooks, Jr., of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was inducted into the Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) Educators’ Hall of Fame on October 14, 2017, during the University’s annual Homecoming celebration.
One of three brothers who grew up near the Powell River, Brooks first came to LMU in 1947 at the age of 14. Brooks became acquainted with LMU by walking to campus with his older brother Walter, who taught classes. He stayed in the library then walked back home with his brother, usually with two or three books in tow.
When Brooks was not in class at LMU, he worked on the University farm in the summer, and in the library during the school year. He majored in English, and minored in math and Spanish. He was 17 when he graduated, owing $100 on his education.
After graduation, Brooks spent two years in Dayton, Ohio, working for the Dayton Power & Light Company and two years serving as a sergeant in the United States Army. After his honorable discharge, he began teaching math and civics at the high school level in Pruden, Tennessee. In 1957, he received a Master of Library Science degree from George Peabody College in Nashville, and became the librarian at Hiwassee Junior College in Madisonville, Tennessee. From there, he took a position as a cataloger and librarian at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque before heading to Chicago to pursue doctoral coursework in library science at the University of Chicago.
In 1962, Brooks served as head of the circulation department for the University of Chicago, and in 1964, he took a similar position at Ohio State University in Columbus. He then worked as the head librarian for George Peabody College before beginning the longest endeavor of his professional career. He spent 15 years as an educational sales representative for Grolier and Beckley Cardy companies in Nashville, Tennessee. Brooks served as the regional director for the Encyclopedia Americana division of the company, selling reference materials to libraries while also teaching in the school librarian certification program of the education department at Middle Tennessee State University. From there, Brooks enjoyed stints in the libraries at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green and Auburn University in Alabama, retiring in 2001.
Throughout his life, Brooks has been active in the Baptist churches where he has lived, teaching Sunday school and serving as a deacon. He also has volunteered his time with Habitat for Humanity and became a certified swimming official. He served as president of the Nashville Swim League in the 1980s.
Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or e-mail at email@example.com.