Category Archives: Uncategorized

Miss “Public Libraries” Mary Eileen Ahern

Festschrifts are a common way to honor someone in academia, and line the shelves of many academic libraries. They typically contain academic essays related to the person’s life work, contributed traditionally by the person’s former doctoral students and colleagues. But what about a Festschrift that’s instead full of nothing but praise for the person being […]

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Ode to the Conference Program

The American Library Association Annual Conference is often a much anticipated event for librarians.  In 1876, 103 people attended the first conference in Philadelphia; last year alone over 26,000 people attended the Annual Conference in Chicago.[1]  Needless to say, the conference has grown a bit. Amongst all of the exhibits, sessions, speakers, and free swag, […]

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The Library Science Library at the University of Illinois, 1944-2009

People go to librarians when they need help researching, but where do librarians go when they need help with their own research? This post will explore the history of the Library Science Library at the University of Illinois, one of a few dedicated library science collections in the United States.

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Books on Wheels

In 1904, the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, Maryland, outfitted a wagon with bookshelves to serve as a mobile library unit to reach people who could not normally make it to the library. A few times a week, the book wagon was able to reach rural areas of the county and deliver books to […]

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Library Service to Prisoners, 1936-39

From Photo Archive, folder: "Prison Libraries, 1936-1957"

In the mid-1930s, the American Library Association formed a Committee on the Libraries of the American Prison Association.  Found in Record Series 23/40/5, this collection contains the Committee’s surveys[1] from 1936-38 of prison libraries across the nation; reports on prison librarianship which include historical information on recommended book titles and magazine subscriptions, cataloging, circulation protocols, […]

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Librarians in Uniform

Continuing our coverage of ALA during World War I, this post will highlight the now very rare uniforms of the first military librarians. The Library War Service was not unique in having a uniform, as many volunteer groups active in World War I had their own distinctive uniforms, notably the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. However, World […]

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New Accessions at the Archives

The ALA Archives has been busy working on large accessions of records sent to us by American Libraries magazine and the ALA Library.  These new accessions will total up to 40 bankers boxes once all of them have been shipped over, and the archives staff is excited to receive them. The archives staff is currently […]

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Library War Service slides collection now online and browsable

While the battles, uniforms, and weapons that made up a World War I serviceman’s life are very well documented in the history books, the day-to-day monotony of a soldier’s life doesn’t often get as much attention. The ALA Archives has recently migrated our collection of digitized lantern slides from World War I into the CONTENTdm […]

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Audiovisual Collections at the ALA Archives

Often when we think of archives, we automatically think of the paper items which document the decisions and actions of an organization or individual; be they correspondence, agendas, or photographs.  But the ALA Archives also contains audiovisual materials, which can bring can bring a living action to past events. Within the ALA Archives, we have many […]

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“Give the Next Man a Chance!” The Circulating Books of World War I

If you’re a dedicated reader of our blog, you may know that during World War I the ALA sent over 10 million books and magazines to camp libraries and overseas for the use of servicemen. The collection development of these libraries was focused on having material that could help the men prepare for a job back […]

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