Blanchard, Ward: Library Director (In Memoriam)

The first Director of Library, Ward Blanchard, organizing boxes of books with his coworkers

The first Director of Library, Ward Blanchard (right), in 1968.

Ward Blanchard was Ohlone’s first Library Director from February 1967 to June 1972.  He established the College Library in the basement of the Serra Center, the college’s first campus.  He passed away in June of 1972 at the age of 59.

Dr. Epler, College President, gave the Welcome and Introduction at the Memorial Service in the Palm Circle.  “Ward was easily our choice to be director of Library services for Ohlone. He enjoyed his work and much of his off-duty time was devoted to his Library work…” (Introduction, 1).

Before Ward came to Ohlone, he was College Librarian at the College of Marin in Kentfield (President Dr. Epler was also from the College of Marin).  He got his BA from San Jose State College in 1952 and his MA in Library Science from Louisiana State University in 1955, and had a number of years of prior experience; at the College of Marin, Oakland City College, Southwestern College, Long Beach Public Library, Monterey County Library, Michigan State University, and Louisiana State University.

Shirley Wang, the library’s first reference librarian; “I did learn so much though, especially from Mr. Blanchard.  He was such a wonderful man who wore a smile on his face all the time, was very kind to people and always willing to help any students, faculty or colleagues who walked into the Library… I am deeply grateful for what he taught me” (Interview, 1).

Ward was committed to providing great resources for students and is quoted in an Argus article; “…students should have (such) books available to them in their own College library, and by providing them the student’s assignment becomes a pleasure rather than a difficult task…” (King, n.p.).

Ward’s wife Janice (Jan) continued to work in the Business Department at Ohlone after Ward’s death.



Epler, Stephen. Welcome and Introduction, Memorial Service, June 12 1972.

King, Gene. Ohlone Officials Promising ‘Something for Everyone.’ Argus, Aug 17 1966, n.p.

Memorial Service in Honor of Ward Stevens Blanchard. June 12 1972, Ohlone College. Program.

Ohlone College’s Library Has More Than Just Books. Argus, Sept. 7 1969, n.p.

Shirley Wang.  March 16 2017. Interview.