Call for Student Papers: LHRT News & Notes

Dear Students,

It’s hard to believe that we’re at the end of another semester!  Hope your papers, theses, book reviews, presentations, and other class projects are going well.

We would like to invite you to submit your library history-related projects to LHRT News and Notes, the official blog of ALA’s Library History Round Table.

We’d be quite happy to consider your papers in whatever format you are using in your course.  We can work together to make revisions and edits, if needed, so that we can publish your papers on the blog.

Why submit to LHRT News and Notes?

>Populating the blog supports LHRT’s mission of increasing public awareness of library history.

>Sharing your paper in an open access blog helps fellow library history scholars researching the same topic.

>Submitting to LHRT News and Notes is friendly and non-intimidating with flexible guidelines.

>Publishing in an official ALA blog boosts your resume.

Please see our <a href="http:// <script src="">special video invitation to LIS students.

Good luck on those final projects, and we hope you’ll consider sending them to the blog after you’re done!  All submissions can be emailed to   Inquires are welcome.

Best Wishes,
The LHRT News and Notes Blog Team

Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South (New Book)

Here at the blog, we’ve been posting for the past few months about the impending publication of a key new title: Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South, By Mike Selby, Published by Rowman & Littlefield. It was recently released:

Order your copy today!

Do you know of other recent or forthcoming releases in library history? If so, please email us at the blog at

CFP SHARP 2020: The Power of the Written Word (June 15-18, 2020, Amsterdam). Deadline now 31 Dec 2019

Call for Papers

The written word has immense power. Manuscripts, books, newspapers, pamphlets, internet and even graffiti can define and spread knowledge as well as form tools for emancipation and liberation. Yet it can also break down communities and fuel discontent. Some argue that new technologies and strategies have enhanced the power of the written word in a negative sense. Others answer that fake news, manipulation and ever-changing technologies have always played a role in history. Moreover, the power of the written word seems threatened by the preponderance of visual technologies in the spread of information. The conference theme explores how and to what extent the power of the written word has manifested itself in past, present and future. Scholars from a range of disciplines are invited to elaborate on the subject – from text creation, illumination and editing to dissemination and distribution of written and printed documents. Big data, digital humanities, codicology, history – whatever the method, we invite you to examine the theme from its beginnings in Sumeria and far into the future. What is the power of the written word? What has it achieved?

Suggested topics

→ The role of manuscripts, printed books, magazines, journals, newspapers, blogs, websites, or tweets in social movements (moral, intellectual, artistic, political, popular, religious)
→ The potentially emancipatory power of reading and writing, literacy
→ Books and manuscripts as material traces (i) of people and their interests (authors, publishers, readers), or (ii) of geopolitical policy (propaganda, diplomacy, granting programs, cultural industries)
→ Libraries, the role of the librarian today
→ Emerging and evolving figures in the book trade (e-publishers, e-pirates, agents, consultants, bloggers)
→ Disinformation, censorship and deceit through the ages
→ Clandestine presses
→ Art and oppression (e.g. Dada, the Russian structuralists)
→ Social media and visual communication in relation to the written word

Proposals on other aspects of print culture are also welcome. We also encourage proposals for lightning talks, posters, and digital project demonstrations. These must include a title, abstract (max. 250 words), and short biography (max. 100 words) for presenters. Proposals and papers will be written in English.

Deadline for proposals is 31 December 2019.

(re-posting from conference website)

Call for Nominations: Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

Members of the Library History Round Table (LHRT) of American Library Association (ALA) created the Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award to recognize outstanding work in our field by emerging library historians. The committee for the selection of the 2021 Dain Dissertation Award winner is seeking submissions by January 8, 2021.

The full description of the Dain Award and the submission process follows and will be updated to reflect the current biennial cycle and available at:

Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

The Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) sponsors the biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award. The award is offered only in odd-numbered years. The Dain Award, named in honor of a library historian widely known as a supportive advisor and mentor as well as a rigorous scholar and thinker, recognizes outstanding dissertations in English in the general area of library history during any time period or region of the world. Five hundred dollars and a certificate are given for the best dissertation that embodies original research on a significant topic relating to the history of libraries.

Eligibility and Criteria

Dissertations completed and accepted during the preceding two academic years are eligible. Dissertations from 2018-19 and 2019-2020 will compete for the 2021 award. Entries are judged on: clear definition of the research questions and/or hypotheses; use of appropriate primary resources; depth of research; superior quality of writing; and significance of the conclusions. The LHRT is particularly interested in dissertations that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and information studies.

Submissions and Selection

The award winner will be selected by the Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award Committee appointed by the LHRT vice chair/chair elect. The winner will be informed before May 1st and the winner will be announced in a press release on or about June 1st of the award year. A certificate honoring the author will be presented at the awards ceremony LHRT during the Annual Conference of ALA.

Submit one electronic copy of the approved and signed dissertation and a signed letter of support from the doctoral advisor or dissertation committee chair at the degree-granting institution. Submissions must be received by January 8, 2021. Receipt will be confirmed within four business days. Send submission to LHRT Liaison Danielle Ponton at:

Two Hundred Years of Young Adult Library Services: A Chronology

Chronologies are invaluable reference tools for the historian, and the indispensable one for historians of young adult library services is now freely available through San Jose State’s ScholarWorks repository!:

Bernier, Anthony, Mary K. Chelton, Christine A. Jenkins, and Jennifer Burek Pierce. “Two hundred years of young adult library services: A chronology.” Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA) 28 (2005): 106-111.

Call for Nominations: The Donald G. Davis Article Award

The Donald G. Davis Article Award is presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association every even-numbered year to recognize the best article written in English in the field of United States and Canadian library history. The award honors Donald G. Davis, longtime professor at the School of Information at the University of Texas and editor of Libraries & the Cultural Record (formerly Journal of Library History, Philosophy, and Comparative Librarianship). A major contributor to the field, Dr. Davis has authored numerous history articles, advised many notable Ph.D. dissertations, compiled important bibliographies, and edited both the Encyclopedia of Library History (with Wayne Wiegand) and The Dictionary of American Library Biography, Second Supplement.

Eligibility and Criteria: Entries for the Davis Award must have been published during the two years preceding the award year; e.g. articles from 2018 and 2019 may be nominated for the 2020 award. Entries are judged on quality of scholarships, clarity of style, and depth of research. The round table is particularly interested in articles that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and information studies. One award will be given every second year unless the jury does not find a suitable candidate for that period. Papers that have won the Justin Winsor or Jesse Shera Awards are not eligible for consideration.

Nomination Process: Any member of the Library History Round Table may nominate one or more articles by sending a recommendation and an electronic copy of the article to the Chair of the Davis Award Committee, Brett Spencer at Subject line must read “Davis Article Award.”

Self-nominations are welcome.

Nominations must be sent by January 1, 2020.

Receipt will be confirmed within four business days (if you do not receive a confirmation within four days, please contact Brett Spencer at 610-396-6261).

Presentation of the Award: The winner will be announced in a press release following the jury’s decision. A certificate honoring the author(s) will be presented at a Library History Round Table award ceremony during the American Library Association Annual Conference.

CFP Extended Deadline–Library History Seminar XIV

CFP for Library History Seminar XIV

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
August 11-13, 2020

Deadline extended to 15 January, 2020

Please submit to Without Borders : Historical Perspectives on Library Outreach
This conference seeks to explore the history of library outreach in all of its forms. “”Librarian,” “library,” and “outreach” are defined in the broadest possible terms that still retain meaning. “Librarians” include all of those who identify as such, regardless of whether they hold academic or other professional certifications. The concept of “library” transcends that of the traditional physical location with a specific collection of books and other materials, clearly defined audience, and formally instituted policies and procedures. “Outreach” ranges from traditional formal programs designed to reach underserved and marginalized groups within a library’s community of service to physical and virtual efforts that move beyond the borders of the community to collaborations between libraries and other cultural heritage institutions. Papers that explore the unique, the unusual, and the esoteric are especially welcome. 

Please submit your paper proposal by 15 January 2020 to 

Each proposal must include the following:

  • Name & institutional affiliation (if applicable)
  • E-mail address
  • Paper title
  • Abstract (250-500 words)