Here’s how to publicize local library history… [Greater, Greater Washington]

D.W. Rowlands, human geographer and senior research assistant at the Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, has preserved and publicized the history of Prince George’s County Libraries in Maryland through a series of engaging pieces in Greater, Greater Washington.

The articles focus on the themes and events in public library history, including the construction of facilities, libraries as social outreach centers, the impact of tax reforms, and the rise of the electronic library.

Hopefully, other writers will see this series and be inspired to write up their libraries’ histories as she has done!

You can read her first article and progress to the others at Here’s how the Prince George’s County Memorial Library System got its start

LHRT Reads–Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe

Hi friends —

Amanda Belantara, Michele Fenton, and I want to ensure that everyone is seeing important announcements about LHRT Reads, so we’re posting this via ALA Connect, the blog, and e-mails to all members. Please forgive the cross-postings!  🙂

First, the next LHRT Reads event will be on Thursday, December 16th, at 7:00 p.m., via Zoom. We will be discussing Kathy Peiss’s Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe . If you’d like to attend, please register ahead of time at . After you register, you’ll receive a confirmation e-mail with information for attending the program. Also, we’ll use the registration list to send reminders about the event.

Secondly, we will soon select titles for LHRT Reads 2022. If there is a title you’d like us to consider, feel free to go this  Google Doc, read about the process at the beginning of the doc, and add your recommendations: . Please submit and upvote titles by December 1st so that Amanda and I will have plenty of time to gather pricing and other information, collect member feedback, and select 6 titles in time for the first LHRT Reads discussion in February 2022.

Looking forward to seeing you at LHRT Reads!

Bernadette  🙂 

Bernadette A. Lear (she/her/hers/Ms.)

Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian, Harrisburg

Affiliate Faculty, Education Library and Pennsylvania Center for the Book, University – 717-948-6360

Author of Made Free and Thrown Open to the Public: Community Libraries in Pennsylvania from the Colonial Era through World War II

Co-Editor of Libraries: Culture, History, and Society 

Administrator of the Literary and Cultural Heritage Maps of Pennsylvania Project

Julius Rosenwald National Park

The American Library Association recently endorsed the creation of Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park. Last year, Congress passed a law directing the National Park Service to study the creation of the park.

Rosenwald was one of the nation’s most significant benefactors of libraries and librarianship, particularly for Black Americans. The Rosenwald Fund operated a library program that “established more than 10,000 school, college, and public libraries” and “funded library science programs that trained African American librarians,” according to a The African American Struggle for Library Equality: The Untold Story of the Julius Rosenwald Fund Library Program. By endorsing the proposal to create a National Historical Park, we are making the case that Rosenwald’s support for libraries is an important part of his legacy that should be recognized in the park.

The Julius Rosenwald & Rosenwald Schools National Historical Park Campaign website has more information about the effort to create a National Historical Park. Rosenwald was one of the owners of Sears and a philanthropist. Most famously, he donated the funds to build thousands of schools for Black children in the then-segregated South, which became known as Rosenwald Schools. But his legacy is also important for libraries.

Edwin Embree, Rosenwald Fund director, was a general session speaker at ALA’s 1932 Annual Conference, which is transcribed in the conference proceedings (starting on p. 18 of the PDF).

Another interesting example of Rosenwald’s library support and its impact can be seen in the Chicago Public Library’s George C. Hall Branch in Bronzeville. George C. Hall had been Booker T. Washington’s physician and friend, head of the Chicago Urban League among other civic activities, and the second Black member of Chicago Public Library’s Board of Directors. Hall connected to Rosenwald through Washington – Rosenwald was a supporter of Washington’s and served for two decades on the board of directors of Washington’s Tuskegee Institute – and consequently Rosenwald donated the land for the new branch library. When it opened in 1932, Hall was the first CPL branch with a Black manager, Vivian G. Harsh; Harsh had previously received a fellowship from the Rosenwald Fund. In addition, the Rosenwald Fund also supported the collection for the new branch. In 2000, ALA’s United for Libraries named the Hall Branch a Literary Landmark in recognition of its promotion of Black literary culture by serving as a meeting place for such writers as Arna Bontemps, Gwendolyn Brooks, Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay, and Richard Wright – arising from a program that Harsh had established.

In response to the new law, the National Park Service is expected to study the feasibility of establishing a new National Historical Park and to report back to Congress within a few years. Congress would ultimately have to pass a law to establish the new park. We hope that Congress will do so, and that the new park will include interpretive materials that highlight Rosenwald’s contributions to library history.

Gavin Baker

Deputy Director, Public Policy & Government Relations 

American Library Association

(202) 403-8209

Sharing Sources and Services: The LAPL and Hollywood Researchers [Special Libraries Association Southern California]

SLA Southern California presents:

Sharing Sources and Services: The LAPL and Hollywood Researchers

Date: Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Time: 6:00pm (Pacific)

Via Zoom

Register at

Description: Please join us for an event with Aaron Rich, author of “The Hollywood Research Library: Visual Knowledge in the Republic of Images.” Aaron will discuss his dissertation and recent article, “Sharing Sources and Services: The LAPL and Hollywood Researchers.”Beginning in the mid-1910s, the American film industry relied heavily on the collections of visual materials in the Los Angeles Public Library to help producers, directors, and craftworkers find image references to support the creation of their movies. Not only did this lead to the creation of in-house collections of illustrated books and assorted visual media at each major production company, but it helped the LAPL develop and grow its own picture collections for patrons inside and outside Movieland. This reciprocal relationship led to the creation of a librarian ethos in Hollywood libraries in which studio research departments would share materials with filmmakers and libraries of rival firms. Unlike the corporate mindset that dominated the executive ranks of studios, these researchers believed in their service role for the many film workers with reference questions who needed timely assistance regardless of their employer.

About the presenter: Aaron Rich received his Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies from the USC School of Cinematic Arts. His dissertation, “The Hollywood Research Library: Visual Knowledge in the Republic of Images,” examined the critical role of visual research in the production of Hollywood movies and how American cinema relied on images from a long history of Western representation. Now an independent scholar, Rich recently began a Masters in Library and Information Science in USC’s Marshall School of Business.

David Cappoli
Director of Web Operations
UCLA School of Law
(310) 794-5410