“A Librarian at Sea”, 1957 unpublished story by Jessie Kenney
Jessie chooses a ship’s library as the central plot point of this autobiographical story. Boxes of books were donated by The College of the Sea and the British Sailors Society for use by crew members and passengers while at sea. She describes a cargo ship journey, where she was employed as a librarian and, as the only woman in the ship’s company, had to also take care of sick passengers and their general welfare. She was able to connect with passengers and comply with their literary requests, providing them with comforting reading materials from classics, to detective and romance novels. One of the most popular books on the journey was The 'Bridge of San Luis Rey' by Thornton Wilder.
Copyright: Estate of Jessie Kenney. All rights reserved. Included here by kind permission of Warwick Kenney-Taylor (son of Annie Kenney) and later generations of the Kenney and Taylor families.