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Publications: Pamphlets of The Committee on Library Work with the Foreign Born, 1924-1929

During the early 1900s, as great waves of immigrants continued to come to the United States, the American Library Association’s Committee on Library Work with the Foreign Born produced a series of resources to support library services for new immigrants. Each publication is rich in the experienced perspectives of library leaders of its time. Read on to learn more about early foreign born American literacy publications!

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Publications: Foreign Book Lists, 1898-1927

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, as great waves of immigrants came to the United States, the American Library Association and librarians produced a series of resources to support library services for new immigrants. Each publication is rich in the experienced perspectives of library leaders of its time. Read on to learn more about early foreign language book lists!

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Just for Fun: Librarianship Theater

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 experience! Don’t believe us? Then read on about early theater and librarianship connections!

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Publications: Booklist Books, 1919-1940

From 1919 through 1940, during the period between both World Wars, the American Library Association and librarians produced an annual series of resources to support library collection development known as Booklist Books. Each publication is a helpful overview of suitable books for general library communities published each year. Read on to learn more about Booklist Books!

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50 Years of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Glyndon Greer giving a speech at the Coretta Scott King Award breakfast in 1974.

2019 marks the 50 year anniversary of the founding of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. This book award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. The award is given out every year to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.(1)

It was founded by librarians Glyndon Flynt Greer and Mable McKissick, and publisher John Carroll during the 1969 American Library Association Annual Conference in Atlantic City. According to McKissick, “We [her and Greer] met at the booth of John Carroll. Since it was the day before the Newbery/Caldecott awards, the discussion turned to Black authors …”(2) and their lack of representation. It is reported that Carroll overhead the conversation and asked, “Then why don’t you ladies establish your own award?”(3) Read More »

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Publications: Library Handbooks, 1908-1921

From 1908 until 1921, the American Library Association produced a series of publications about library administration known as Library Handbooks. Each installment is rich in the experienced perspectives of library leaders of its time. Read on to learn more about Library Handbooks!

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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 »

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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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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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