Driven by a love of history and information, Mary Spore-Alhadef became involved in her profession while matriculating as an undergraduate at Boston College. In those days, the only two schools that took female students were The School of Nursing and The School of Education. Originally intending to become a history teacher, she soon realized that it was mandated that every school have a history teacher but what they really wanted was a football coach. What this meant was that her male classmates that could coach sports would get the jobs. Ms. Spore-Alhadef came to the conclusion that she could continue sharing her love of knowledge and history during her summer work at Boston College’s libraries. She enjoyed this work and found it fun and engaging to be around the librarians. Once she graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Arts in 1965, she started library school at Peabody College three months later and finished with a Master of Library Sciences in 11 months.
Once Ms. Spore-Alhadef earned the MLS, she returned to Boston College to work as the Assistant to the Director of Libraries. After two years in this position, she was asked to join the library at Weston College’s School of Theology. She remained in this position until 1973, then relocating to work at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo, California. She served for an additional year as a reference librarian at the Graduate Theological Union Library in Berkeley, California before serving as the audiovisual librarian at Redwood City Public Library from 1978 to 2006. From then, until her retirement in 2019, Ms. Spore-Alhadef worked in general reference at the library.
A highlight of Ms. Spore-Alhadef’s career was being asked to take over the Seminary Library. She helped them move the collection into Cambridge from way out in the country. A personal accomplishment was that every library she worked at had its challenges and something else that had to be learned and done. She was proud of the fact that she was able to adapt to all of the situations, learned what had to be learned and do the job. Furthermore, she is a writer and has chapters published in “Redwood City: A Hometown History” and the “150th Anniversary Book.” During her career, she was a longtime member of the American Theological Library Association and still remains active with the archives committee at Redwood City Public Library.