ALA Headquarters Records and New Member Round Table Newsletters

Check out Salvatore De Sando’s posts about the rich content available in the ALA Archives from the ALA Headquarters staff and the New Member Round Table newsletters:



CFP: Social Justice and Activism in Libraries, Moving Beyond Diversity to Action

CFP: Social Justice and Activism in Libraries, Moving Beyond Diversity to Action

Book Publisher: McFarland

Su Epstein, Ph.D., co-editor. Director, Saxton B. Little Free Library, Columbia, Connecticut

Carol Smallwood, co-editor. Public Library Systems, Special, School Librarian, Michigan

Vera Gubnitskaia, co-editor. Reference Librarian, Valencia College, Winter Park, Florida

One or two chapters sought from U.S. practicing academic, public, school, special librarians, LIS faculty, sharing how to take the concept of diversity to the next level. The role librarians can play in social justice and social change, activities supporting tolerance in libraries. Topics could be inclusivity, tolerance, civic engagement, civic education, human rights, social responsibility; in the areas of collection development, programming, professional development, partnerships and outreach—just to name a few.

One author or two or three authors per chapter. Compensation: one complimentary copy per 3,000-4,000 word chapter accepted no matter how many co-authors or if one or two chapters: author discount on more copies. Contributors are expected to sign a release form in order to be published. Public, school and special librarians, LIS instructors are especially encouraged to submit.

Please e-mail titles of proposed chapters each described in a few sentences by October 30, 2017, brief bio on each author; place TOL,  LAST NAME on subject line to:

The Rachel Maddow Show Covers American Public Library Integration

Dr. Wayne Wiegand recently noted on the LHRT list that the Tougaloo Nine, the brave protestors who helped integrate Mississippi’s public libraries, had received coverage on one of MSNBC’s most popular shows:

The Jackson-Hinds County (MS) Public Library hosted a celebration of the Tougaloo Nine recently, and Rachel Maddow highlighted their event on her program.

Dr. Wiegand and his wife have book coming out in March 2018 about the integration of Southern public libraries, and they are encouraging other public libraries to commemorate the advocates of integration.

They are also encouraging library history writers to research the issue of race in libraries.  Dr. Wiegand notes that in his book he and his wife “cover only a fraction of the 1960s public library desegregation efforts in the South, almost nothing about the issue of race in 20th century librarianship’s practices in other parts of the country. We encourage you all to give these subjects serious consideration as you all plan future research agendas; there are scores of stories about race and librarianship that remain uncovered and thus unaddressed.”  Let’s rally to his call and publish some papers on the blog about this key issue.

Best Wishes,


Call for News and Articles for LIHG News

The Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals’ Library and Information History Group (LIHG) of the United Kingdom will release a new issue of its newsletter soon and is putting out a call for news and articles:

The guidelines for authors can be found here:

On a related note, I have had a wonderful time this evening perusing the featured articles in the past issues of LIHG News. Every library historian should read Alistair Black’s  “Library History & the Information Sciences: Past and Future” on page 8 of the summer 2016 issue.  Dr. Black looks at the challenges facing library history as a field in coming years and discusses library history and its relation to broader information history.  On page 10 he notes that “the potential for history in the information sciences to flourish in the future is heightened by the fact that historical studies of the digital information revolution are likely to increase as time pushes that revolution further into the past. This will possibly have the knock-on effect of giving further boosts to histories of the antecedents of the digital information revolution, including libraries.”

There are also droves of fascinating articles in LIHG News about rare book discoveries that are adding to our knowledge of social history. For example, I just looked through one entitled “Bad hair day at Bury Assizes – An iconoclast’s tale” based on a rare book find at Aberystwyth University.  Among other things, the book discusses the morality and legality of men’s hair length in Puritan-era England.

And you must check out the splendid essay “For the Mutual Improvement of Scottish Miners” by John Crawford on page 5 of the spring 2017 issue: it provides an overview of the Leadhills Reading Society, Scotland’s first subscription library. The article also touches on the connections between Benjamin Franklin’s subscription library in Philadelphia and the mutual improvement societies in Britain.  I had no idea about these connections.

Enjoy reading more in the LIHG News archives…



Interesting Discovery in Public Library History


Nicolette Hall has sent us an interesting paper examining how budgetary limitations, saloons, an earthquake, and a highly-skilled but volatile library director figured into the history of the San Francisco Public Library.

Of special note, Ms. Hall discovered a study conducted by the library’s early founders, who had surveyed two hundred libraries in Europe and America about their development, services, and collections.  Henry George analyzed the results, and his conclusions are quoted in Ms. Hall’s paper:

These results provide an interesting snapshot of libraries of the 1800s.

Ms. Hall is a LIS graduate student at San Jose State University. She also holds an MA in Art History from San Francisco State University, where she received the Distinguished Achievement Award for Academic Excellence for her thesis and participated in the Western Association of Graduate Schools Distinguished Master’s Thesis Competition.


Some July Posts to LHRT News and Notes

A History of Christian Publishing in Grand Rapids: How Four Families Shaped an Industry

By Erinn Huebner, Wayne State University

Summarizes the historical significance of the four great publishing houses of Grand Rapids–Kregel, Baker, Eerdmans, and Zondervan.  I found this paper fascinating because the story draws from original interviews conducted by the author with descendants of the first publishers; it chronicles a little known part of book history; and it sets the story against the backdrop of Dutch Calvinist immigration to the United States.

Available at:

A Study in Patience and Fortitude: A Brief History of the New York Public Library’s Early Decades

By Sarah Edwards Obenauf, San Jose State University

An excellent and well-illustrated account of the dawning of the nation’s largest public library, weaving together facts and stories from the Bulletin of the New York Public Library and other primary sources.  You’ll find a number of interesting, little-known NYPL anecdotes peppering her paper.

Available at:

All the Best,