Black Friday Shopping for Library History Buffs

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the biggest shopping day of the year in the USA, as people begin to buy gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. At other places around the world, you might be preparing for a holiday season as well. Here’s some gift ideas related to library history!:

If you’d like to inspire a youngster in your family with library history, check out this delightful series of essays about library history in children’s picture books by M. E. Bonds on her blog: Part 1 deals with libraries around the world; Part 2 looks at library “firsts.”; Part 3 looks at libraries and minorities; and Part 4 looks at a variety of other themes.  She highlights books like The Book Boat’s In by Cynthia Cotten, which tells kids the story of floating libraries on the Erie Canal in the early 1800s, and The StoryTeller’s Candle by Lushcia M. Gonzales,  which features New York Public Library’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpre.  I had no idea there were so many children’s books about the history of libraries!

What about young adults? One interesting gift could be New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine’s fantasy/alternate history book series about the Library of Alexandria, Ink and Bone. In this version of reality, the Library of Alexandria has survived and opened branches in most of the world’s cities–and uses alchemy, rather than electronic resources, to deliver information.

If you’re looking for gift ideas for a fellow library historian, you might wrap up some of these fantastic photo books that have come out in the last few years:

  •  The Library: A World History by Dr. James Campbell offers breathtaking photos of many of the world’s historic libraries–this teaser from the Daily Mail  showcases a sample.
  • Another excellent stocking stuffer is The Most Beautiful Libraries in the World by Jacques Bosser (Author),‎ James H. Billington (Contributor),‎ and Guillaume de Laubier (Photographer).  “The accompanying text by journalist and translator Jacques Bosser traces the history of libraries from the Renaissance to the present day…” (publisher description).
  • Any library historian would be happy to find The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasures  by the Library of Congress under the tree on Christmas morning.  “Featuring more than 200 full-color images of original catalog cards, first edition book covers, and photographs from the library’s magnificent archives, this collection is a visual celebration of the rarely seen treasures in one of the world’s most famous libraries and the brilliant catalog system…” (publisher description).
  • The Library: An Illustrated History by Stuart A. P. Murray is likely on many bibliophile’s wish lists.

Know of other great gifts for library history buffs? Email us at the blog lhrtnewsandnotes@milib3073

[This post was adapted from a 2017 post].

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