From fiction bans to wartime books: The history of libraries and how they’ve shaped us — The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology –

(Credit: Unsplash) This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum. Author: Kate Whiting, Senior Writer, Formative Content 23 April is World Book and Copyright Day. In The Library: A Fragile History, two academics explore the mixed fortunes of book collections, from the ancient scrolls of Alexandria to […]

From fiction bans to wartime books: The history of libraries and how they’ve shaped us — The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology –

LHRT presents the 2022 Gleason Book Award to Rebecka Taves Sheffield [ALA Press Release]


Allison G. Kaplan

Chair, Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award Committee

Library History Round Table (LHRT)

CHICAGO — The Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award Committee of the Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to present the 2022 Gleason Book Award to Rebecka Taves Sheffield, a senior policy advisor for the Archives of Ontario, for “Documenting Rebellions: A Study of Four Lesbian and Gay Archives in Queer Times” (Litwin Books, 2020). Presented every third year, the Gleason Award recognizes the best book written in English in the field of library history. First given in 2004, this award honors the professional contributions of Dr. Eliza Atkins Gleason, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Library Science (University of Chicago, 1940).

The Gleason Award Committee was impressed with the caliber of this year’s 11 nominees and consider this round of awards to include the greatest number of nominees in the history of the award. The Committee would like to congratulate the scholars making such important contributions to the field, and we would similarly like to thank the individuals who brought these works to our attention.

As the title suggests, “Documenting Rebellions: A Study of Four Lesbian and Gay Archives in Queer Times” presents a five-year case study of four unique archives in North America: The Lesbian Herstory Archives (New York, New York), The ONE National Gay and Lesbian archives (Los Angeles, California), the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives (West Hollywood, California), and the ArQuives: Canada’s LGBTQ2+ Archives (Toronto, Ontario).  With engaging text, Dr. Sheffield weaves a story of collecting, archiving, and respecting the history of this seriously underrepresented population within the social context of recent history from the late 20th to the early 21st centuries.  

The Committee members are pleased to be able to recognize this work that is likely to serve as a seminal resource for historians and archivists in the years to come and congratulate Dr. Sheffield for this valuable contribution to the professional scholarship of library history.

Committee Members
Dr. Allison G. Kaplan (Chair) Distinguished Faculty Associate Emerita, Information School, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Dr. Carol A. Leibiger, Associate Professor, Information Literacy Coordinator, University of South Dakota
Dr. Catherine Jane Minter, Associate Librarian, Indiana University
Dr. Wayne A. Wiegand, F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus, School of Information, Florida State University
Ms. Catherine Elizabeth MacKendrick (Student Observer, University of Illinois)

Find the original press release from ALA here:

2022 LHRT Election Results

I’d like to congratulate the winners of the LHRT elections:

Steven Knowlton, Vice Chair/Chair-Elect
Michele Fenton, Member-at-Large
Christopher Proctor, Secretary-Treasurer-Elect
Ellen Pozzi, ALA Councilor

LHRT is lucky to have many engaged volunteers who run in our elections. Thanks for everyone who stood for office, and congratulations to our newly elected officers.

Carol Leibiger

Carol A. Leibiger, Ph.D., MSLIS
Chair, Library History Round Table
Associate Professor
Information Literacy Coordinator
University of South Dakota
Vermillion, SD 57069 USA

News about Alston’s Library History Database

Please see below for a message from the SHARP list with exciting news about a key online resource for library historians!:

Dear SHARP-L readers—

I have an exciting announcement for those of you interested in the history of British and Irish libraries, readership, and the book trade. As many of you will know, from the early 1990s onward, the accomplished bibliographer and historical linguist Robin C. Alston (1933–2011) compiled the Library History Database, a directory of more than 27,000 libraries and reading societies active in the Atlantic Isles through 1850. (See also Andrew Prescott’s valuable blog post on the database.) With the support of the University of Virginia and the University of London’s Institute of English Studies, I am working to restore Alston’s database to public access on the IES website, as was Alston’s original intention.

In addition to hosting a legacy version of the database as it appeared during Alston’s lifetime, I aim to reorganize Alston’s data into a more accessible spreadsheet format, which will enable detailed statistical and geographical analysis of the directory’s coverage. Thus far, I have prepared a preliminary file covering the 12,000+ institutional, commercial, and associational libraries in the database, and I am now in the process of incorporating data on the various categories into which Alston sorted these entries. In the future, I hope to follow a similar procedure with Alston’s extensive data on country house libraries.

In the meantime, I’m eager for feedback on this project from fellow researchers in library history, online directories, and the geography of the book trade. I’d also be thrilled to interview anyone who knew Alston and/or followed his library history research as it was being conducted. The IES has been very kind in sharing files from its archive, but much about the database’s provenance remains unclear from the available witnesses.

With gratitude,

Michael VanHoose
PhD Candidate, English Department, University of Virginia  
Digital Humanities Fellow, Scholars’ Lab, UVA  
Postgraduate Research Fellow, IES / DHRH, University of London  
Main email: