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Publications: Library Tracts, 1900-1910

From 1900 until 1910, the American Library Association produced a series of publications about general issues in library administration known as Library Tracts. Each installment is rich in the experienced perspectives of library leaders of its time. Read on to learn more about Library Tracts!

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Ghosts of Disasters Past: Floods, Hurricanes, and Earthquakes of American Library History

Libraries of all kinds have suffered damages and loss due to environmental disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods. As hurricane season comes to a close (officially June 1 to November 30), it’s a good time to reflect on disaster planning. Hurricanes Florence and Michael caused significant damage in the United States this year, and Puerto Rico is still rebuilding following last year’s Hurricane Maria.

The ALA Archives holds many photographs and records documenting past disasters. Here is a look at a few of them. If these photos scare you, be sure to check out ALA’s Disaster Preparedness and Recovery resources to make sure your library is ready with a disaster plan. We hope you won’t need it! Read More »

Posted in Found in the Archives, Just for Fun, Library History | Read and Comment

Publications: Library Extension Board Publications

Following World War One and A.L.A. War Service program, the American Library Association’ Committee on Library Extension (later Library Extension Board) produced a great many publications supporting the work of county, district, regional, and rural librarians as well as their peers across the United States. Some of these publications can be found in Record Series 29/5/11, which contain brochures, pamphlets, and administrative reports, as well as a few surprises too.

Read on to learn about Library Extension Board publications!

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Posted in ALA Publications, Found in the Archives, Library History | Read and Comment

Research Strategies: Finding Hispanic Heritage Materials at the ALA Archives

From September 15 to October 15, it is Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States and we at the ALA Archives want to help you optimize your research into Hispanic American heritage and history. In this month’s blog post, we’ll take a tour through ALA Archives holdings and we’ll use multiple strategies for finding information.

Read on to learn more about locating Hispanic American history materials at an archives!

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Posted in Found in the Archives, Research Strategies, What Archivists Do | Read and Comment

Publications: Newsletters of the Office of Federal Relations and Washington Office

Since 1946, Federal Relation News (1946-1949), Washington Newsletter, and Washington News have provided information resources about libraries and legislation across the nation. In fact, older issues are still information rich for current and future readers.

Read on to learn more about the art and history of Federal Relations News and Washington Newsletters!

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Posted in ALA History, ALA Publications | Read and Comment

Just for Fun: 22 Steps to Build Your Own Public Library

Although a significant amount of an archivist’s work is spent communicating with donors and researchers, in addition to arranging and conserving or preserving a continuous influx of documents, there is always time for a little fun too.

Archives are not exclusively repositories for records of historic value; but, they are also home to a great variety of documented human wisdom! Don’t believe us? Then read on about starting your own library in the A.L.A. Archives!

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Posted in ALA Publications, Found in the Archives, Just for Fun | Read and Comment

Library Life: The Arthur Plotnik Photographs

Arthur Plotnik (second to the left) and other members of American Libraries editorial staff.

This spring, the American Library Association Archives acquired a generous donation of photographs from Arthur Plotnik, a photographer, journalist, writer, and librarian. Plotnik is the former editor of ALA’s flagship magazine, American Libraries, and his career with the American Library Association spanned over twenty years. Before coming to ALA, Plotnik worked at the H.W. Wilson Company, the Library of Congress, was a staff writer and reviewer at Albany’s Times-Union, and served in the US Army reserve. He is married to artist, Mary Phelan, who has claim to University of Illinois Library fame for her portraits of University Librarians Hugh Atkinson and Robert Downs. Read More »

Posted in Found in the Archives, Librarian Spotlight | Read and Comment

Out of the Closet & Onto the Shelves: Librarians and the Oldest Gay Professional Organization in the U.S.

June is pride month, which means that our exhibit Out of the Closet & Onto the Shelves: Librarians and the Oldest Gay Professional Organization in the U.S. is up in the Marshal Gallery at the University of Illinois Library. This exhibit documents the early history and development of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association. This organization has a rich history documented in the archives, and we are excited to display these materials to library patrons this month. However, we couldn’t fit everything in the exhibit and we know that not everyone can make it to campus, so here we will share some highlights of GLBT Round Table history. Be sure to stop by the Marshall Gallery June 1-30 to view the exhibit, and visit the American Library Association Archives to see more of this exciting collection. Read More »

Posted in ALA History, Exhibits, Library History | Tagged , , | Read and Comment

Publications: SRRT Newsletter

Since 1969, the SRRT Newsletter has provided information resources on social issues affecting librarians, library communities, and libraries. Of course, older issues are still information rich for current and future readers.

Read on to learn more about the early art and history of SRRT Newsletter!

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Posted in ALA History, ALA Publications, Found in the Archives | Read and Comment

Publications: Jewish Caucus Newsletter

Forty two years ago, at the 1976 Midwinter Convention, the recently established Jewish Librarians Caucus (now Jewish Information Committee) also founded a publication which would serve as an information rich resource on world issues from a Jewish perspective and issues affecting Jewish librarians and their communities. Other archival holdings also document a history of Jewish librarian leadership.

Read on to learn more about the Jewish Caucus Newsletter!

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Posted in ALA History, ALA Publications, Found in the Archives | Tagged | Read and Comment
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