Author Archives: Cara Bertram

Commemorating the Library War Service

With centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I coming up on April 6, the American Library Association Archives is commemorating the centennial of the Library War Service, which was formed shortly after the US entered the Great War. Keep an eye on our blog, social media, and our site for the different […]

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The ALA Mexican Border Traveling Library Service

While most of the American Library Association Library War Service’s efforts were concentrated in camps and hospitals in the United States and Europe, there was also a need for books for the soldiers stationed along the Mexican border. Chalmers Hadley, the librarian of the Denver Public Library, surveyed the desire for books among soldiers at […]

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New Digital Exhibit: Celebrating the Organizers!

Today is the official 140th birthday of the American Library Association and we are kicking it off the with opening of our new digital exhibit Celebrating the Organizers!: 140 of Library Conference Planners in Letters and Images at the ALA Archives. A special thanks to ALA graduate assistant Salvatore De Sando for all his hard […]

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“Beyond the Hopes or Plans”: ALA at the 1893 World’s Fair

With the approaching 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago on the horizon, Frank P. Hill addressed the American Library Association at the 1890 Annual Conference and proposed several suggestions for the ALA to showcase an exhibit at the fair. Hill proposed that for the fair, “That a model library, showing modern methods of classifying and cataloging […]

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Life Imitating Archives

Attending the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida? Take a moment to recreate some ALA Annual Conference moments and Tweet it to the ALA Archives! Choose one of the following photographs below Strike a pose and take a picture! Tweet your photo to @ALA_Archives with #LifeImitatingArchives

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“Call for a Library Conference”: The 1876 ALA Conference

Despite the relative success and enthusiastic reception of the 1853 Librarians’ Convention, it failed in its goal to establish a permanent organization of librarian professionals. The next attempt to create a permanent association occurred again in 1876. An anonymous letter to the London publication, Academy, noted that it was strange “that no attempt should have […]

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Celebrating 140 Years of the ALA

In celebration of the 140th anniversary of the American Library Association, the ALA Archives, spearheaded by Salvatore De Sando (ALA Archives Assistant), will be tweeting correspondence about the 1876 Conference. The source materials come from a scrapbook of letters and publications for the first ALA conference in 1876 in Philadelphia, October 4-6. The archives will […]

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Clara S. Jones: “Awareness is Not Burdened with Repression; It is Liberating”

During the 1975 American Library Association Annual Conference, Clara Stanton Jones was announced as the Vice-President and President-Elect of the American Library Association. Her term as President would start during the ALA’s 1976 Centennial Conference, a fitting celebration for the first African American President of the ALA. Her experience as Director of the Detroit Public […]

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Happy Birthday, Melvil!

The ALA Archives staff wants to say happy birthday to Melvil Dewey, who is a mere 164 years old today! Dewey might be most famous for his Dewey Decimal Classification system for library books, though many American libraries now use the Library of Congress classification system, the Dewey Decimal System is still being used today. […]

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American Archives Month: Tell Your Story

October is American Archives Month! But what does that mean for the American Library Association? The ALA Archives staff wants to encourage all ALA offices, divisions, committees, and round tables to start a conversation with the archives about depositing your records, both physical and digital. We especially want to hear from ALA units that haven’t […]

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