Franklin Parker graduated from Berea College with a B.A. in 1949. He went on to the University of Illinois, Urbana to receive his M.S. in L.S. in 1950 and received his ED.D. in 1956 from the Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Parker served as a librarian at many universities early in his career and went on to teach as a professor of education at numerous others.