Library History Round Table Meetings and Programs Annual Conference Sessions: ALA Orlando, 2016

LHRT Executive Board Meeting

6/26/2016, 8:30AM – 10:00AM, HYATT – Columbia 37

Business meeting for the Library History Round Table.  Agenda forthcoming

 LHRT Edward G. Holley Memorial Lecture

“History, Childhood, Memory, and Imagination”

6/26/16   10:30AM – 11:30AM, HYATT – Barrel Springs I

John Cech, Director of the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature & Culture at the University of Florida, will share insights from a lifetime researching children’s literature in his talk entitled “History, Childhood, Memory, and Imagination”.  Professor Cech was the Producer and Host of the Public Radio program, “Recess!,” (1998–2007). He is the author of Imagination and Innovation: The Story of Weston WoodsAngels and Wild Things; The Archetypal Poetics of Maurice Sendak, and the editor of American Writers for Children, 1900–1960.

 LHRT Research Forum

“History of Reading and Readers in Libraries”

6/26/2016, 1:00PM – 2:30PM, HYATT – Bayhill 27

  • Amy Breimaier:  Caleb Bingham’s Vision for America: A Case Study of the
    Youth’s Library 1806 Catalogue
  • Mary Carroll:  Exiled and isolated: Libraries in the early penal
    settlements of Van Dieman’s Land
  • Dr. Emily Knox:   “Dirty” Materials Out of Place: Inappropriate Books and
    Social Classification
  • Brian Shetler: “Never Read Any But Famed Books”: 19th Century Libraries
    and the Middlebrow Reader
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Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award: Call for Papers (Applications must be received by February 15, 2016)

Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award: Call for Papers

The Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award is presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association annually to recognize the best essay written in English on library history.  The award is named in honor of the distinguished nineteenth-century librarian, historian, and bibliographer who was also ALA’s first president. It consists of a certificate and a $500 cash award, as well as an invitation to have the winner’s essay considered for publication in Information & Culture: A Journal of History. If the winning essay is accepted for publication, additional revisions may be required.

Criteria

Manuscripts submitted should not be previously published, previously submitted for publication, or under consideration for publication or another award. To be considered, essays should embody original historical research on a significant topic in library history, be based on primary sources whenever possible, and use good English composition and superior style. The Library History Round Table is particularly interested in works that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and information studies. Essays should be organized in a form similar to that of articles published in Information & Culture: A Journal of History, with footnotes, spelling and punctuation conforming to the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. Papers should not exceed thirty-five typewritten, double-spaced pages (plus footnotes and bibliography).

Submissions and Selection

Applicants must send five copies of the manuscript or submit electronically. The name and other information identifying the author should appear only on a separate cover letter. Applications must be received by February 15, 2016. Receipt will be confirmed within four business days.

Submit manuscripts to:

LHRT: Justin Winsor Award Committee
Office for Research and Statistics
American Library Association
50 East Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60611

or send files electronically to:

ors@ala.org

with Subject line: LHRT: Justin Winsor Award Committee

http://www.ala.org/lhrt/awards/windsor-essay-award

 

CFP: IFLA Library History Special Interest Group and the Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section, Theme: “Libraries and Immigrants: Historical Perspectives”

Library History Special Interest Group, Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section, in co-operation with the American Library Association Library History Round Table

http://2016.ifla.org/cfp-calls/library-history-sig-joint

The IFLA Library History Special Interest Group and the Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section , invite proposals for papers to be presented at their joint session on “Libraries and Immigrants: Historical Perspectives” during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, USA, 13-19 August 2016.

Much has been and is being written about current experiences of libraries and immigrants to our lands. But what of past experiences, and of lessons learnt from the history of our libraries as they welcomed early immigrants to our countries and assisted them to settle and enjoy their new lives?   In some countries this history would be very long, and we are hoping with the international composition of IFLA, we will hear of historical experiences from around the globe as such activity fits well with the overall theme for the 2016 IFLA Conference: Connections. Collaboration. Community.

Submission guidelines

  1. Your paper might be the result of an historical research project, or describe the historical experiences of your own library. Selection of papers is based on the abstract (up to 500 words) which should consider:
    1. how it relates to the theme of the session;
    2. a description of the historical approach to the topic;
    3. lessons learnt from the historical experience/s;
    4. interesting discoveries from the historical experience/s;
    5. if a research project, implications and outcomes for library practice and any research limitations;
    6. other matters of relevance and importance to the topic.
  2. Both abstracts and full papers should be submitted as a MS Word file by e-mail. Fax or post (please contact Kerry Smith for postal details) should be used only as a last resort.
  3. Please email your abstract to:
    Dr Kerry Smith
    Convenor, IFLA Library History SIG
    Email: kerrylib@westnet.com.au
    Phone/fax +61 8 9385 9119
  4. If your abstract is selected, your paper should be of 20 pages maximum, double spaced.
  5. As it is expected that our session will be conducted in English, all proposals, papers and presentations will be required to be in English.
  6. Depending on the number of submissions accepted, we are expecting that up to 20 minutes will be allowed for a summary delivery of the paper at the Conference; the full written paper is *not* to be read. It is strongly recommended that the presentation is supported by a visual element using presentation software such as PowerPoint.
  7. The author(s) should indicate his/her personal full contact details and include a brief biographical note with the abstract and the paper.

 Important Dates

  1. The deadline for submitting a detailed abstract and full author details including email contact is 31st January 2016. Each abstract will be reviewed by members of the Library History Special Interest Group and co-sponsoring groups.
  2. Authors will be notified whether they have been successful or not, by 31 March 2016.
  3. The full paper is due on 31st May 2016 and must be an original submission not presented or published elsewhere.

Submissions

All abstracts must be received by 31 January 2016.

Please note

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Columbus, Ohio. Abstracts should only be submitted with the understanding that the expenses of attending the conference will be the responsibility of the author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

All papers that are presented at the WLIC 2016 will be made available online via the IFLA Library under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Authors of accepted papers must complete the IFLA Authors’ Permission Form.

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation letter can be issued to authors.

Congress Participation Grants

List of opportunities for support is available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.

CFP – “History of Reading and Readers in Libraries” Library History Round Table (LHRT) Research Forum, June 2016 – DEADLINE: January 31, 2016

The Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) seeks papers for its Research Forum at the 2016 ALA Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida June 23-28, 2016. The theme of the Forum will be the history of reading in libraries (public, academic, and school). Subjects may include—but are not limited to—historical studies of:

•    Reading, readers, and gender in libraries
•    Meanings of reading in libraries
•    Reading so-called ‘good’ books (nonfiction and serious literature) vs. reading for pleasure
•    Appropriate and inappropriate books; censoring reading and readers
•    Role of the library in developing a reading canon
•    What did reading in libraries look like for children, women, men, immigrants?
•    What type of material did libraries actually provide, and was it what readers wanted?
•    Developing readers through genre fiction, literacy programs, children’s story hours, books for immigrants (English or foreign language).

LHRT welcomes submissions from researchers of all backgrounds, including students, faculty, and practitioners. Proposals are due by midnight (PST) on Jan. 31, 2016.  Each proposal must give the paper title, an abstract (up to 500 words), and the scholar’s one-page vita. Also, please indicate whether the research is in-progress or completed. It is desirable that the abstract include a problem or thesis, as well as a statement of significance, objectives, methods/primary sources used for the research, and conclusions (or tentative conclusions for works in progress).

From the submissions, the LHRT Research Committee will select several authors to present their completed work at the Forum.  So that the Forum’s facilitator may introduce and react to each author, completed papers are due June 12, 2016. The Research Forum will likely occur on Sunday, June 26, 2016. All presenters must register to attend the conference. For registration options, see ALA’s events and conferences page at http://www.ala.org/.

DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: January 31, 2016
DEADLINE FOR COMPLETED PAPERS: June 12, 2016

Please submit proposals and direct inquiries to:
Ellen Pozzi
LHRT Vice-Chair/Research Committee Chair
William Paterson University
1600 Valley Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
Telephone: 973-720-3784
E-mail: pozzie@wpunj.edu

2016 Midwinter field trip to the Boston Athenaeum

The LHRT and RUSA HS are co-sponsoring a Midwinter meetup to tour the Boston Athenaeum, one of the oldest independent libraries in the U.S.  The Athenaeum’s collections comprise over half a million volumes, with particular strengths in Boston history, New England state and local history, biography, English and American literature, and the fine and decorative arts.  The Athenaeum building was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1966. 

 When:  Saturday, January 9, 10-11:15am

Where:  Boston Athenaeum, 10-1/2 Beacon Street, in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston

https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/

RSVP:  By January 1 at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rusa-hslhrt-midwinter-tour-of-the-boston-athenaeum-tickets-19991443947

Note: The tour is capped at 20 attendees.  To complete your RSVP, please also submit payment by Paypal to baildon@rocketmail.com for the $5 tour fee.

 The  Athenaeum is within walking distance of public transit as well as the Omni Parker House Hotel/shuttle Route 2.

 Feel free to contact Michelle at baildon@mit.edu with any questions.

LHRT midwinter virtual meeting: Jan. 11th, 2:00 pm (EST)

The midwinter meeting of LHRT’s executive committee will be on Tuesday, January 11, 2016, from 2pm to 4pm EST. The meeting will be held online through Skype.

All members of LHRT (including non-officers) are welcome to request that items be placed on the agenda. ALA requires that the agenda be posted at least 2 weeks ahead of time, s please bring agenda items to Eric Novotny attention no later than Monday, December 22.

All members are also welcome to attend the meeting. Per LHRT bylaws, members can participate in discussions at the meeting, but cannot vote. If you have concerns or questions about an item that is on the agenda, but you cannot attend the meeting, you may send them to Eric Novotny in writing (e-mail is fine), ecn1@psu.edu, and he will ensure they are heard by the group.

Reflections on the Library History Seminar XIII – Megan Browndorf

Megan Browndorf received a travel grant from LHRT to attend and present at the Library History Seminar XIII at Simmons College that was held from July 31 – August 2, 2015. The theme of the conference was Libraries: Traditions and Innovations.

Ms. Browndorf is a Research and Instruction Librarian at the Albert S. Cook Library at Towson University where she serves as library liaison to the Department of History. She agreed to provide an account of her time at the Library History Seminar XIII.

Congratulations, Megan, on the travel grant and thank you for sharing your experience at the Seminar.


The last time that I had taken a train any considerable distance, I was travelling through the Carpathians into Ukraine. Aptly, this time, I rolled up the East Coast to Boston to present research on Ukrainian library history. With a background in East European studies and as a working librarian, I was unsure what to expect from a library history conference. My verdict is overwhelmingly positive. With apologies to all past conferences I’ve attended, this was possibly the first conference where there was no session I regretted attending. I am grateful for the opportunity LHRT gave me as an early-career librarian to dip my toe into this fascinating library history community.

The keynotes book-ended a two day exploration on “Libraries: Traditions and Innovations” with Ann Blair’s opening keynote on traditions and David Weinberger’s closing keynote on innovation. But truly, these two keynotes did not differ that significantly. Ann Blair’s “Libraries as Sites of Discovery” built the library as a place that long served to gather, study, and display materials. In his “Future Matters” David Weinberger argued that libraries must become more involved in meaning-making and providing the tools to make this possible. Both see libraries as a place where connections happen and thus culture is constructed, expanded and explored. However the methods of fostering these connections have changed over time, must change now, and will continue to change in the future.

In the meat of the conference between these two keynotes was an image of the tensions and possibilities of change and consistency in libraries over time. I wrote nearly twice this detailing all of the sessions I wanted to share, but I unfortunately can only offer, but some examples.

The first session I attended was “Libraries in 19th century Anglo-America” whose panelists discussed gender and reading, mechanics’ institute libraries, and American circulating libraries (subscription rental libraries built on an English model). All three of these papers touched on or foregrounded class as a determining element of the user-population, procedures, and collection stock. The highlight of the next session on “Libraries in Evolution” was Matthew Connor Sullivan’s paper analyzing the rhetoric of the library as “warehouse.” Sullivan convincingly argued that the metaphor in which the storehouse stands in counterpoint to the way that libraries should be is by no means contemporary, appears cyclically, and ignores the reality that libraries do actually store books as part of their mission. The session in which I presented had two other excellent papers that looked at war as a fulcrum of change in library and reading practice. The panel following was a mix of papers considering contemporary efforts to document and safeguard the histories of diverse communities. All of these papers prioritized the role of the relevant communities in the process of creating and their own archive and developing its narrative. The first paper by Jennifer Jenkins used “tribesourcing” in the American Indian Film Gallery to allow American Indians to respond to the “voice of God” narratives that long characterized documentaries about their cultures. Rudolph Clay’s work at Washington University of Saint Louis has provided infrastructure for participants in the events following the Michael Brown shooting to share their digital media for archiving and preservation. The last panel I attended before the closing keynote was rather fittingly on “digital innovation.” The first paper explored UVA’s efforts to rebuild the original Thomas Jefferson law library from 1828 (and it is just plain cool). The second situated digitization practice in a socio-historical lineage of preservation work.

The weekend began with Ann Blair’s keynote “Libraries as Sites of Discovery” which set up a vision of the library as a place to gather, a place to display, and a place to study beginning in the medieval period. Underlying the physical place is a cultural library built upon the ideas that “no book is so bad that it shall not be kept” and that redundancy is the key to ensuring the survival of texts. After the superb keynote I had to begin making the difficult decisions about which sessions to attend, from those I only have the space here to describe a few of the highlights.

The first session I attended was “Libraries in 19th century Anglo-America” whose panelists discussed gender and reading, mechanics’ institute libraries, and American circulating libraries (subscription rental libraries built on an English model). All three of these papers touched on or foregrounded class as a determining element of the user-population, procedures, and collection stock. One tidbit I particularly enjoyed from Tom Glynn’s paper on gender and reading in NYC’s early public libraries was that libraries catering to the upper class sometimes advertised ladies-only reading rooms, but the ladies were perfectly happy mixing in the general reading rooms with the men.

The highlight of the next session on “Libraries in Evolution” was Matthew Connor Sullivan’s paper analyzing the rhetoric of the library as “warehouse.” Sullivan convincingly argued that the metaphor in which the storehouse stands in counterpoint to the way that libraries should be is by no means contemporary, appears cyclically, and ignores the reality that libraries do actually store books as part of their mission. He ultimately argues that this metaphor tells us more about the librarians employing it than the libraries which it seeks to describe.

The next day I presented my paper during a panel on “Libraries in the warring 20th century.” Mary Mooney’s work, a developing chapter of her larger dissertation, looked at how bibliotherapy developed in the interwar period out of the hospitals of WWI in concert with a host of other modern “therapies” particularly oriented to mental health conditions.

The panel following was a mix of papers considering contemporary efforts to document and safeguard the histories of diverse communities. All of these papers prioritized the role of the relevant communities in the process of creating and their own archive and developing its narrative. The first paper by Jennifer Jenkins used “tribesourcing” in the American Indian Film Gallery to allow American Indians to respond to the “voice of God” narratives that long characterized documentaries about their cultures. Rudolph Clay’s work at Washington University of Saint Louis has provided infrastructure for participants in the events following the Michael Brown shooting to share their digital media for archiving and preservation.

The last panel I attended before the closing keynote was rather fittingly on “digital innovation.” At it, I became absolutely enamored with the work being done by the UVA law library to digitally reconstruct the entirety of the 1828 catalog of law texts “purchased under the direction of Thomas Jefferson.” This unique way of building up a collection and making it digitally available will allow questions and analysis that would not otherwise have been possible. This is the type of project I would love to see replicated in other institutions with similarly important historical collections that may no longer be physically extant. Relatedly, the other individual presenting during this panel, Zack Linder-Katz, reminded us that digitization has a socially situated history, which it behooves us to consider as we watch digitally available materials grow in our libraries and archives.

While there were multiple sessions that I wish I had been able to attend, but was unable to due to scheduling conflicts, the one paper that nonetheless stuck with me was Eric Williams’s “Automating the Community: MARC Community Information Format and Changing Libraries in the 1990s.”  In it, Williams discussed a little known MARC standard from the 1990s which would allow libraries to catalog things like community groups during the time before the internet came into its own and made this format more or less obsolete. I spoke with Eric and found myself fascinated by this bizarre bit of trivia that reflected libraries at the cusp of the enormous changes that the past 20 years have brought and wishing I had been able to hear the full of his paper.

As Ann Blair situated the library in some of its traditions, David Weinberger’s closing keynote looked to the role of innovation in creating its future. “Culture is a network,” he posited, of connected people with connected ideas and meaning are the connections which matter. As such, meaning shall always be local. In his keynote he argued that while libraries may have been separated from this meaning in the past, the Internet has made it both possible and necessary for libraries to become an integral part of that meaning-making.

Megan Browndorf