LHRT Reads: Syria’s Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege

We are looking forward to seeing you at our next LHRT Reads book discussion. For the month of October, we are discussing Syria’s Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege. We are meeting on Thursday, October 20th, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Register in advance for this meeting:

Please read Syria’s Secret Library: Reading and Redemption in a Town Under Siege before our meeting. Bring at least one question you’d like to discuss with other group members. 

We’ll begin at 7 p.m. sharp, Eastern time. Depending on the number of attendees, we may assign everyone to a breakout room. We have plenty of discussion questions for a thought-provoking conversation. 

If you’ve never participated in a book discussion, you might want to read these tips: https://ilovelibraries.org/for-book-lovers/bookclubs/. Also, please be aware that all LHRT events, including LHRT Reads, adhere to ALA’s Statement on Appropriate Conduct, https://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/statement_appropriate_conduct . We expect a lively discussion, but let’s keep it kind.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Amanda Belantara (ab6477@nyu.edu) or Michele Fenton (mfenton@library.in.gov).

Happy reading!

LHRT Reads

Podcast Interview with Dr. Wayne A. Wiegand [Circulating Ideas]

A special treat: Circulating Ideas recently conducted an interview with Dr. Wayne A. Wiegand, often referred to as the Dean of American Library Historians, available as a podcast and a transcript at: https://circulatingideas.com/2022/09/20/227-wayne-wiegand/

The synopsis from Circulating Ideas is “Steve chats with library historian Wayne Wiegand about how he came to the library profession, how to view historical figures and actions honestly (warts and all), the history of American libraries, the life and times of Melvil Dewey, and the vital places coffee and cats hold in American library history.”

Happy Banned Books Week!

Hello everyone,

This week is Banned Books week in the United States, and the American Library Association is mobilizing opposition to the recent surge in book ban attempts via the web site at: https://uniteagainstbookbans.org/

For some recent treatments specifically on the history of libraries and book bans:

National Geographic is featuring an article on the history of book censorship efforts with a connection to the present day:


Jennifer Wolf, a senior lecturer of education at Stanford University, addresses how current book bans relate to those of the past in this interview:


School Library Journal has compiled several podcasts about the past and present of book banning:


Do you know of other recent publications about the history of book banning in any country? If so, please email us at the blog at lhrtnewsandnotes@gmail.com

Invitation to RAILS

An  invitation to the 2022 Research Application in Information and Library Studies (RAILS) Conference. RAILS is Australasia’s premier research conference for information and library studies and related disciplines. This annual conference brings together educators, researchers and practitioners within GLAM sector to encourage a culture of informed and innovative research practice. Sadly, a face to face RAILS has been delayed for two years now, so academics in Charles Sturt University’s School of Information and Communication Studies have planned a smaller, online version of the conference for 2022.

“Off the RAILS: Changing Research for Changing Times” is a FREE online conference bringing together selected invited speakers over two half days on the 29th and 30th of November 2022 (AEDT). Speakers and programme information can be found here including an international timezone program. You will need to register your intention to attend the conference to get the Zoom link. Please register for the conference using this page on Eventbrite. There will also be a Doctoral Showcase which will include a series of short presentations from research students. If you are a doctoral student studying at a university in Australasia, with a research project related to the GLAM sector, and would like to present your research to date as part of the Doctoral Showcase, please contact Prof Philip Hider by Friday the 11 November at phider@csu.edu.au and also register online.

“Libraries are reimagining what public safety and access to resources look like” [Prism]

Tamar Sarai writes that “in addition to offering ways to redress past racist policies, the movement toward police-free libraries also confronts how libraries themselves have helped instill public faith in police through community programs like the nationwide book-sharing project Little Free Library (LFL).” Check out her full article that references the history of libraries and segregation in “Libraries are reimagining what public safety and access to resources look like” for Prism.

Correction to CFP: Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award


Please note the following correction to the CFP:

Instead of emailing a dissertation to a specific person as stated earlier, please use the web form linked to the bottom of the announcement to submit a dissertation.

Thank You!

FP: Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

Members of the Library History Round Table (LHRT) of American Library Association (ALA) created the Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award to recognize outstanding work in our field by emerging library historians. The committee for the selection of the 2023 Dain Dissertation Award winner is seeking submissions by January 18, 2023.

The full description of the Dain Award and the submission process follows and will be updated to reflect the current biennial cycle and available at:

Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award
The Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) sponsors the biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award. The award is offered only in odd-numbered years. The Dain Award, named in honor of a library historian widely known as a supportive advisor and mentor as well as a rigorous scholar and thinker, recognizes outstanding dissertations in English in the general area of library history during any time period or region of the world. Five hundred dollars and a certificate are given for the best dissertation that embodies original research on a significant topic relating to the history of libraries.

Eligibility and Criteria
Dissertations completed and accepted during the preceding two academic years are eligible. Dissertations accepted for completion of the doctorate in 2021and 2022 will be eligible for the 2023 award. Entries are judged on: clear definition of the research questions and/or hypotheses; use of appropriate primary resources; depth of research; superior quality of writing; and significance of the conclusions. The LHRT is particularly interested in dissertations that place the subject within its broader historical, social, cultural, and political context and make interdisciplinary connections with print culture and information studies.

Submissions and Selection
The award winner will be selected by the Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award Committee appointed by the LHRT vice chair/chair elect. The winner will be informed before May 1 st and the winner will be announced in a press release on or about June 1 st of the award year. A certificate honoring the author will be presented at the awards ceremony LHRT during the Annual Conference of ALA.

Submit one electronic copy of the approved and signed dissertation and a signed letter of support from the doctoral advisor or dissertation committee chair at the degree-granting institution. Submissions must be received by January 18, 2023. Please use the following form to submit: https://airtable.com/shrdiWv5YpvUjuunf