Ruth Toor (Arak), 84, of Maplewood died Sept. 7, 2018. Born in Vienna, she arrived in the United States at the age of four after fleeing the Nazis. Her family settled in Wilmington, Del. Later, she raised her children in Berkeley Heights.
Mrs. Toor spent 29 years as the librarian at Southern Boulevard School in Chatham Township.
In Wilmington she skipped two grades in the school system, later earning a bachelor’s degree from University of Delaware. She earned a master’s degree in library service from Rutgers University.
With another school librarian, Hilda Weisburg, Ruth wrote more than a dozen how-to books for school librarians, including: “New on the Job: A School Librarian’s Guide to Success” and “Elementary School Librarian’s Almanac: A Complete Media Program for Every Month of the School Year.” The pair then created “School Librarian’s Workshop,” a newsletter that at its height had tens of thousands of subscribers. The workshop and many of the books were published by a company founded by her husband, Jay Toor, after he retired from corporate work.
The Toors attended library conventions around the country to sell the workshop and the books, and Ruth became active in the American Library Association. She served as president of the American Association of School Librarians in 1992-93 and worked on many ALA and AASL committees. In 1995, she served on the committee that chose the recipient of the Caldecott children’s book medal.
She is survived by her husband of 67 years; two sons, Mark (Joye) of Huntington, N.Y., and Cary (Joyce) of Great Falls, Va.; a brother, Syd of Indianapolis; and four grandchildren.
Services were held Sept. 12 with arrangements by Menorah Chapels at Millburn, Union.