Mary Ann Mongan

The library was renamed after Mary Ann Mongan upon her retirement in June of 1999. At that point Miss Mongan had been the only Kenton County Public Library director since its formation in 1967. 

Miss Mongan had received her bachelor’s degree from University of Cincinnati and her master’s degree in Library sciences from University of Kentucky before she began working at the Newport Library where she was immediately named the head librarian out of 3 library employees. While in that position she joined the Newport Library with the Covington Library which, like almost all libraries at the time, was independent. She was quickly named the director of the Covington Library in 1958. After Kentucky lawmakers enacted a law allowing the creation of library districts, Mongan spearheaded the initiative to do so with the libraries she was currently managing. This included bringing in the Erlanger-Elsmere Library that was then run by volunteers of a local women’s club, and a bookmobile that served the most rural parts of the area. 

Additionally, Mongan grew the library’s collection of what they had to offer to the community. Previously, libraries only contained books and maybe a few record albums on vinyl. Mongan helped to move the Kenton County Public Library into the information age, making KCPL the first libraries in the area to offer computers to the public. According to an interview in the June 1999 issue of Cincinnati Women Magazine, she had brought the collection up from the few 100 books in 1958 up to more than 350,000 items in 1999. 

At a retirement party in June 1999, Mongan was gifted a personal home computer (purchased by donations from library employees) and was then surprised with the announcement that the library was being named after her in honor of all the work she had done for the Covington branch as well as all of the libraries in the system. 


from an email from Beth Coyle, Local History & Genealogy Dept., Kenton County Public Library. Thanks, Beth.