Francis V. Sedney, a retired Harford County librarian who encouraged a dynamic relationship between child and librarian, died Thursday of heart failure at her Bel Air home. She was 86.
The daughter of Herbert Hewes, a Boston & Maine Railroad conductor, and Anna Hewes, a postal worker, Frances Veronica Hewes was born in Boston and raised in the city's Mission Hill neighborhood, where she graduated from Mission Church High School.
She earned a bachelor's degree in 1948 from St. Joseph's College in Emmitsburg and earned a master's degree in library science in 1949 from what is now Carnegie Mellon University.
She began her career as a children's librarian with the New York Public Library, and after her marriage to Raymond Sedney, a physicist, the couple moved to Bel Air in 1952 when her husband went to work at Aberdeen Proving Ground. He died in 1989.
Mrs. Sedney was a volunteer storyteller at St. Margaret's Elementary School when she took a job in 1967 with the Harford County Public Library.
Mrs. Sedney believed that it was important to establish a dynamic relationship between librarian and child and using her influence to get children to read and to keep coming back to the library for more books.
For more than 40 years, Mrs. Sedney was a member of the American Library Association and its Association for Library Service to Children, where she served in a variety of leadership positions.
In 1985, she was selected to serve on the Newberry Prize Committee as a selector for the recipient of the John Newbury Medal, which is annually awarded to the "most distinguished contributor to American literature for children."
At the time of her retirement, Mrs. Sedney was coordinator of children's services for the Harford County Library.
She was an opera fan and enjoyed traveling to New York City for opera-packed weekends, family members said.
A Mass of Christian burial for Mrs. Sedney will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. Margaret Roman Catholic Church, 1421 N. Hickory Ave., Bel Air.
She is survived by four sons, Blaise Sedney of Forest Hill, Quentin Sedney of Reisterstown, David Sedney of Falls Church, Va., and Damian Sedney of Underhill, Vt.; four daughters, Deirdre Griffiths of Natick, Mass., Jocelyn Sedney of Quincy, Mass., Vivian Sedney of Santa Rosa, Calif., and Allegra Sedney of Weymouth, Mass.; 18 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Another son, Justin Sedney died in 1983.