In the 1950s when she and her husband, James W. Hoffman, purchased their home - a former inn built in 1756 - they said they experienced empty chairs that rocked, cutlery that went missing, and sightings of a long-dead former owner named Clara.
"I write books to encourage children to read," Mrs. Hoffman told an interviewer in the 1980s. "No one wants to read about broccoli. I want to write about what kids read."
Mrs. Hoffman grew up in Carlisle, Cumberland County, Pa. She earned a bachelor's degree from Dickinson College in Carlisle in 1942 and a master's degree in library science from Drexel University in 1961.
From 1958 to 1965, she was librarian in the Haverford Township School District. Then she was chairwoman of the division of libraries for the Pennsylvania Department of Education for 10 years, when she developed resource centers for audio and visual aids.
From 1975 until she retired in 1991, she was director of the Haverford Township Free Library. She then was interim librarian at Haverford High School for two years.
Her husband of 41 years died in 1985. She is survived by a daughter, Elizabeth Crawford; sons William, Charles and Lloyd; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at Llanerch Presbyterian Church, Park and Lansdowne Avenues, Havertown. Burial is private.
Memorial donations may be made to the Haverford Township Free Library, Darby and Mill Roads, Havertown, Pa. 19083.
Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or email@example.com.