I’m reaching out from the American Library Association to share some news that may be of interest to the Library History Roundtable.
The National Park Service (NPS) is seeking public input on a special resource study on sites associated with the life and legacy of American businessman and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. The public comment period will run from July 1 through 31 and the NPS will host two virtual public meetings on July 6 and 7. Information about the meetings and the comment period are available here: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/public-input-rosenwald-srs.htm
When completed, the National Park Service will submit the study to Congress. Depending on its findings, the study may recommend that Congress create a new National Historical Park to commemorate Rosenwald’s legacy.
As I shared with you previously, ALA has endorsed the creation of Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park. Rosenwald was one of the nation’s most significant benefactors of libraries and librarianship, particularly for Black Americans. We hope that NPS will recommend the creation of a new park and that Congress will do so, and that the new park will include interpretive materials that highlight Rosenwald’s contributions to library history.
I would encourage interested members to attend the meetings and/or submit comments about the historical significance of the library activities in the sites that NPS is focusing on, or suggest other sites where significant library activities occurred.
Deputy Director, Public Policy & Government Relations
American Library Association