CFP: IFLA Library History Special Interest Group

Theme: “Transform Libraries. Transform Societies: Library outreach to marginalized populations: historical perspectives”

The IFLA Library History Special Interest Group  invites proposals for papers to be presented at its session on “Transform Libraries. Transform Societies: Library outreach to marginalized populations: historical perspectives” during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 24-30 August 2018.

There is no doubt that libraries of many types are reaching out to marginalized populations in today’s world and this is not only when times are tough for communities in need, but also for underrepresented and small, almost forgotten communities in our world of today.  But what of past experiences?   What might be the lessons learnt from the history of our libraries as they reached out to marginalised communities in times past?   What sorts of services might our libraries have offered to such communities?  What lessons did our libraries learn from these historical experiences in working with their marginalised communities? Did the services and work that the libraries offered bring changes in the ways that other community services were offered?  How did libraries under such circumstances learn, revive and/or transform the precious cultural heritage of the regions in which they existed; or did they find that this was not possible?  We are hoping that we will hear of historical experiences from around the globe as such activity fits well with the overall theme for the 2018 IFLA Conference: Transform Libraries. Transform Societies.


  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 an MS Word file by e-mail.
    Please email your abstract to:
    Dr Kerry Smith, Convenor, IFLA Library History SIG
    (phone +61 8 9385 9119)
  1. 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.
  2. The author(s) should indicate his/her personal full contact details and include a brief biographical note with the abstract and the paper.


The language of the session is expected to be English. However, presenters may also give their talk in any of the IFLA working languages. Simultaneous translation is not guaranteed; therefore, presenters are strongly encouraged to provide the PowerPoint in English to facilitate understanding of the ideas presented.


  1. The deadline for submitting a detailed abstract and full author details including email contact is 31st January 2018. Each abstract will be reviewed by members of the Library History Special Interest Group Committee.
  2. Authors will be notified whether they have been successful or not, by mid March 2018.
  3. The full paper is due on 31st May 2018 and must be an original submission not presented or published elsewhere.


All abstracts must be received by 31 January 2018.

Please note

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Malaysia. 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 2018 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 Web Site:


Blazing Trails Article

Happy New Year!
In the latest issue of American Libraries, Greg Landgraf has written a great article related to library history to start off 2018.  In “Blazing Trails” he recounts interviews with five leading African-American librarians about their personal histories and the history of the profession, highlighting their views about inclusiveness.  Check it out at:



What Do You Get a Library History Buff for Christmas?

Christmas photoLooking for last minute gifts for a fellow library history buff or a child in your family?

Hoping to find some good reading for the winter break?

Check out the links below:

If you’d like to inspire a youngster in your family with library history, check out this delightful series of essays about children’s picture books by M. E. Bonds.  She highlights books like The Book Boat’s In by Cynthia Cotten, which tells kids the story of floating libraries on the Erie Canal in the early 1800s, and The StoryTeller’s Candle by Lushcia M. Gonzales,  which features New York Public Library’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpre.  I had no idea there were so many children’s books about the history of libraries!

If you’re looking for a last minute gift idea for a fellow library historian, you might wrap up some of these fantastic photo books that have come out in the last few years:

  •  The Library: A World History by Dr. James Campbell offers breathtaking photos of many of the world’s historic libraries–this teaser from the Daily Mail  showcases a sample.
  • Another excellent stocking stuffer is The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World by Jacques Bosser (Author),‎ James H. Billington (Contributor),‎ and Guillaume de Laubier (Photographer).  “The accompanying text by journalist and translator Jacques Bosser traces the history of libraries from the Renaissance to the present day…” (publisher description).
  • Any library historian would be happy to find The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures  by the Library of Congress under the tree on Christmas morning.  “Featuring more than 200 full-color images of original catalog cards, first edition book covers, and photographs from the library’s magnificent archives, this collection is a visual celebration of the rarely seen treasures in one of the world’s most famous libraries and the brilliant catalog system…” (publisher description).

Do you know of other great illustrated books about library history?  Please send them on and I’ll list them as well.


Best Wishes for the Holidays!


Editor, LHRT New and Notes


Bonus Photo: What Books Will Be on Your Christmas Tree?


CFP: 2018 Library Research Round Table Forum

Call for Papers

2018 Library Research Round Table Forum

Theory, Method, and Practice in Library Research

ALA Annual Conference, New Orleans, June 21-26, 2018

The Library Research Round Table (LRRT) is accepting paper submissions for the LRRT Research Forum at the 2018 American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in New Orleans. The LRRT Research Forum will feature 15-minute presentations of library and information science (LIS) research followed by discussion. Proposals are due Friday, January 12, 2018.  Notification of acceptance will be made on Friday, February 16, 2018.


This session will present three peer-reviewed papers describing research with the potential to make significant contributions to the field of library and information science (LIS). The three papers will selected as examples of research excellence, with a focus on work exemplifying strong use of theory, clear and well-organized research design, and appropriate data gathering and analysis methods.

Submissions emphasizing the problems, theories, methodologies, or significance of research findings for LIS are welcome. Topics can include information access, user behavior, electronic services, service effectiveness, emerging technologies, organizational structure, and personnel. All researchers, including practitioners from all types of libraries and other organizations, LIS faculty, graduate students, and other interested individuals are encouraged to submit proposals. Both members and nonmembers of LRRT are welcome.

The selection committee will use a blind review process to select three papers. Authors will be required to present their papers in person at the forum and to register for the conference. Criteria for selection include:

  1. Significance of the research problem to LIS research and practice.
  2. Quality and creativity of the methodology/methods/research design.
  3. Clarity of the connection to existing LIS research.

Please note that research accepted for publication by January 31, 2018 cannot be considered.

Each submission must consist of no more than two pages. On the first page, list the author names, titles, institutional affiliations, and contact information, including mailing addresses and email addresses.

The second page must NOT show your name or any personally identifying information. Instead, it must include:

  1. The paper title.
  2. A 500-word abstract of the research project, including: 1) a problem statement and significance, 2) project objectives, 3) methods/methodology, and 4) conclusions (or tentative conclusions for work in progress).
  3. A brief statement saying if the research is complete or ongoing and listing the project beginning and end dates.

Send submissions via email to:

Jennifer Sweeney

LRRT Chair

Lecturer, SJSU

Program Evaluation & Planning


Historic Videos of Libraries

Hello everyone,

It’s amazing how many historic films are available in the public domain these days, and there are a number of historic videos of libraries now available. Here is a list of some in our latest post on LHRT News and Notes blog:

From early tutorials on the card catalog to short films that portrayed the importance of libraries in their communities, these films reflect the historical beliefs about library collections and staff.

In addition, you’ll find some “bonus” documentaries, book talks, and LIS teaching videos about recent historiography.

Do you know of other historic library videos that might of interest to library history buffs? Please send me others that you run across and I can add those to the blog as well.

Holiday Best,

CFP: IFLA Library History Special Interest Group

The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Library History Special Interest Group has announced a call for papers for “Transform Libraries. Transform Societies: Library outreach to marginalized populations: historical perspectives”  to be held at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 24-30 August 2018.  You can find the submission guidelines at

IFLA also has an online library of publications that includes a treasure trove of fascinating library history papers–check it out at



Call for Nominations: 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 Librarianshi). 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.

For a list of previous winners, click here:

Eligibility and Criteria

Entries for the Davis Award must have been published during the two years preceding the award year; e.g. articles from 2016 and 2017 may be nominated for the 2018 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 ever 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 to the Chair of the Davis Award Committee, Brett Spencer at

Subject line must read Davis Article Award.

Nominations must be sent by January 19th, 2018.

Receipt will be confirmed within four business days.

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.

Best Wishes,
Brett Spencer
Chair, Donald G. Davis Award Committee

CFP: LHRT Round Table Research Forum, ALA 2018

“Historical Perspectives on Marginalized Peoples and Libraries”

Library History Round Table (LHRT) Research Forum, June 2018

The Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) seeks papers for its Research Forum at the 2018 ALA Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA, June 21-26, 2018. The theme of the Forum will be the history of marginalized peoples and libraries. Subjects may include—but are not limited to—historical studies of:

  • Library services for native and indigenous people
  • Library services for new immigrants
  • Literacy, languages, and libraries in relation to marginalized populations
  • Language or cultural inclusion or suppression in libraries

LHRT welcomes submissions from researchers of all backgrounds, including students, faculty, and practitioners. Proposals are due by midnight (PST) on Jan. 15, 2018.  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 two 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 1, 2018. The Research Forum will likely occur on Sunday, June 24, 2016. All presenters must register to attend the conference. For registration options, see ALA’s events and conferences page at





Please submit proposals and direct inquiries to:

Jenny Bossaller

LHRT Vice-Chair/Research Committee Chair

University of Missouri

303 Townsend Hall

Columbia, MO 65205


History of American Archives

Did you know October is American Archives Month? Join LHRT News and Notes in saluting American archives by browsing these links on archival history:

Revival: History of the American Archival History Roundtable Newsletter (2017)–great news, SAA is re-launching this key publication!

Bibliography of American Archival History  (Society of American Archivists)–the starting point for research on archives.

American Archivist Journal Back Files–trace the development of the archival profession with open access back files to many issues of this venerable journal.

ALA Archives: American Archives Month–Cara Bertram highlights the ALA Archives activities.

Patty Reinert Mason ‘s CSPAN Talk–the history of the National Archives building and its rich symbolism.

The History of Archives: The State of the Discipline (ABSTRACT)–an 2015 overview of archival history by Elizabeth Yale, check your institution’s Project Muse subscription for full text.

Archival Arrangement and Description: Analog to DigitalLois Hamill’s book, available as partial view on Google Books, offers a concise history of archival practice.

Closing an Era: Historical Perspectives on Modern Archives and Records Management–Richard J. Cox’s  2000 book available as partial view in Google Books.

Why not research the history of your favorite archives–and write up a short post about it for LHRT News and Notes?

All the Best,