John S. Burgan Chief Pratt librarian


Services for John S. Burgan, who headed the Hartford, Conn., public library after serving as chief of the Central Enoch Pratt Free Library, will be held at 10 a.m. today at Trinity Episcopal Church in Hartford.

Mr. Burgan, who was 60 and lived in Hartford for the past seven years, died Tuesday at a hospital there after an illness of several months.

Before taking the Hartford post in 1984, he had been chief of the central library here since that job was created in 1973.

It involved supervision of the library at the Peabody Institute as well as the Cathedral Street library and its role as a state library resource center, lending research materials to other libraries in the state.

From 1967 until 1973, he served as head of the Pratt's extension division, which included the branch libraries and other services. Earlier, he supervised its services to the surrounding counties.

The Baltimore native was a 1948 graduate of City College and a 1955 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, where he majored in history and worked for a time in a preprofessional program at the Pratt Library before earning a master's degree in library science at Rutgers University in 1959.

He worked in the public library in Linden, N.J., then briefly at the Catonsville branch of the Baltimore County Public Library before returning to the Pratt in 1963.

A former president of the Maryland Library Association, he had been active in the American Library Association and belonged to the H. L. Mencken Society.

Mr. Burgan read and spoke Mandarin, having learned the Chinese language in an Army language school during the Korean War.

He was a member of the Six Napoleons, the Baltimore branch of the Baker Street Irregulars, scholarly fans of Sherlock Holmes.

Also, he was an expert on opera and was interested in classic films and contemporary poetry.

He is survived by his wife, the former Anne Shaw; two daughters, Sarah Siskin of Manchester, Conn., and Martha Anne Shaw of Washington; a brother, William M. Burgan of Bloomington, Ind.; and two grandchildren.

The family is planning a memorial service in Baltimore.

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