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Sun, 10.24.1948

Theresa Venable, Librarian and Administrator born.

Theresa Venable

*Theresa Venable was born on this date in 1948.  She is a Black educator, historian, and retired librarian.

From Knoxville, TN, Theresa Evans Venable earned a B.S. in Elementary Education and an M.S. in Information Sciences from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. For thirty years, she was an elementary and middle school reading and language arts teacher in Oak Ridge, TN, and Anderson County, TN. She is a vigorous proponent of programs encouraging reading as a family activity. 

She was the Langston Hughes Library librarian at the Children's Defense Fund (C.D.F.) Haley Farm in Clinton, TN, from 2006 to 2022. Venable is responsible for the general operations of the Langston Hughes Library.  She oversaw all aspects of the library's functions, including acquisitions, collection development, and displays; she coordinates visits, readings, and other public programs and events held in the library; and was responsible for the maintenance of a current, up-to-date, electronic cataloging system containing all library acquisitions. 

Venable worked with a twelve-member Langston Hughes Library Advisory Board to ensure the library kept up with 21st-century ideals and principles. She was responsible for working with groups using the facility to conduct programs at C.D.F. Haley Farm Facility "fit" one or more of the five components of the C.D.F. mission statement. They are to ensure every child a Head Start, a Healthy Start, a Safe Start, a Moral Start, and a Fair Start in life with the help of caring adults and communities. She provided leadership in developing and implementing all approved programs dealing with the broad child advocacy base.

She received the 2011 Zora Neale Hurston Award given by R.U.S.A. (Reference and User Services Association) of A.L.A. (American Library Association). Venable is a life member of the National Education Association (N.E.A.), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She serves as a member of the U.T.K. College of Communication's Board of Visitors and the advisory board for the U.T.K. Center for Children's and Young Adult Literature.  She is a board member of the Beck Cultural Exchange Center in Knoxville and is active in many other civic and volunteer organizations. In 2022, she and three other female leaders in East Tennessee were honored by the Women's Political Collaborative of Tennessee.

Before retirement, she was the Children's Defense Fund librarian from 2005 to 2022. She and her husband, Dennis, reside in Clinton, TN. They have two adult children - a daughter, Kamari Venable Greene (Charles), residing in Arlington, TN, and a son, Kevan, who lives in Knoxville. They are the grandparents of Charles Greene, Jr., better known as "C.J.," and Avery. Theresa Venable enjoys reading, quilting, and traveling.

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