Ardie Myers interview, 2021-12-08
Oral history interviews recorded by students in the Real World History class at Center for Inspired Teaching.
- Creation: 2021-12-08
Language of Materials
Biographical / Historical
Ardie Myers was born on August 29, 1943, in Pinola, Mississippi, 50 miles southeast of Jackson. Ms. Myers is the youngest of four children; she has two older brothers and a twin sister who passed away in 2007. Her parents, Gayther Myers and Edna Myers, both taught at a church school in Pinola. When Ms. Myers was two months old, her father got a job with the railroad postal service, leading the family to move to Memphis, Tennessee. In Memphis, her mother taught kindergarten at First Baptist Church. In her early days, Ms. Myers took piano lessons and continued this off and on later in life. She attended Lester Elementary School, Lester Junior High, and Lester High School in Memphis. She graduated from high school in 1961 and continued her education at Memphis State University (now University of Memphis). After graduating in 1965, she moved to New York City with her twin sister and older brother, who had graduated from Yale in 1965. The two sisters had teaching jobs in the city. She taught for two months before getting a job with the Social Security Administration as a benefit examiner. Later, she took a one-year course at Columbia University's School of Library Service to acquire a Master of Science degree in library service. In 1971, she got a job at Howard University as Acquisitions Librarian and moved to the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C. She worked at Howard for a year before getting a job at the Library of Congress, where she worked for the next 30 years. Ms. Myers began in the Congressional Reference Division of Congressional Research Services (CRS) and became a team leader after four years. She was then asked to transfer to the General Reading Rooms Division as an African American specialist librarian since the division had no Black librarians at the time. She also became a reporter for the Library of Congress Gazette. She was interested in journalism and was thinking about starting a newsletter covering African American conferences. While working at the Library, she went to school at George Washington University and got a master's in American Civilization (basically African American Studies). At the end of her career, she worked in the Main Reading Room and the social science reading room before retiring in 2002. Ms. Myers enjoys doing crossword puzzles, reading, taking walks, and listening to music.
From the Collection: 27.1 Gigabytes (DIG_0029)
From the Collection: 228 Files (DIG_0029)
In this interview, Ms. Ardie Myers, a long-time D.C. resident, discusses her life and experiences moving from Memphis, Tennessee, to New York City, and later, to Washington, D.C. Ms. Myers discusses her family life and educational experiences in Memphis as well as segregation and civil rights activism during her upbringing. She also talks about moving to New York City in the late 1960s and her move to Washington, D.C., in 1971.