History of National Library Week

This week is National Library Week in the United States. Here’s some links about the history of this event to help celebrate!:

National Library Week: How ALA’s Annual Advocacy Event Got Started (Wayne A. Wiegand, American Libraries) https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/04/13/national-library-week/

National Library Week: “For a Better-Read, Better-Informed America” (Lydia Tang, American Library Association Archives Blog)


National Library Week – A Philatelic Tribute (Larry Nix, Library History Buff Blog)


Public Libraries, Public Input: How Citizens’ Comments Can Inform Public Library Architecture (PLATFORM)

Check out this excellent article from Dr. Maxi Schreiber, Architectural Historian, about the Chicago Public Library’s campaign to encourage citizen feedback about the design of a new public library building:


A unique story of a library engaging its public!

Learn about Janet Doe–New York Academy of Medicine First Female Library Director

The pandemic has certainly accentuated our medical providers and the work that they do. Paul Theerman, Director, Library and Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health at The New York Academy of Medicine, shares the story of a pioneer in the field of medical librarianship. Janet Doe (1895–1985) served as the first female director of the New York Academy of Medicine. She also presided over the Medical Library Association. During her term she helped formalize education for medical librarianship, an initiative that provides inestimable benefits to us today…

Find out more about her contributions in the full essay at:

“LHRT Reads” Book Discussion Group

Hi friends —

Amanda Belantara and I cordially invite you to “LHRT Reads,” LHRT’s new and lively bi-monthly book discussion group. Each session will feature a different book that explores library history through a different lens. All participants must register separately for each discussion. The registration link for the first discussion is here. After you register, you will receive an e-mail confirmation which includes a link with unique login information. Attendees are expected to adhere to ALA’s Statement of Appropriate Conduct, http://www.ala.org/conferencesevents/statement_appropriate_conduct.

All discussions begin on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. EST. We’re planning for an hour-long discussion — more details to follow. Here is the schedule:

*April 22, 2021: Library: An Unquiet History, by Matthew Battles, https://wwnorton.com/books/Library/

*June 24, 2021: Freedom Libraries: The Untold Story of Libraries for African Americans in the South, by Mike Selby, https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538115534/Freedom-Libraries-The-Untold-Story-of-Libraries-for-African-Americans-in-the-South

*August 19, 2021: The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, by Joshua Hammer, https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Bad-Ass-Librarians-of-Timbuktu/Joshua-Hammer/9781476777412

*October 21, 2021: Regina Anderson Andrews, Harlem Renaissance Librarian, by Ethelene Whitmire, https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/35qfd6cg9780252038501.html

*December 16, 2021: Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe, by Kathy Lee Peiss, https://global.oup.com/academic/product/information-hunters-9780190944612?cc=us&lang=en&

Titles were chosen after consulting various awards lists and conducting a survey of LHRT members. 

Looking forward to gathering with you next month!

Bernadette and Amanda

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

Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian

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

Penn State Harrisburg Library

351 Olmsted Dr., Middletown, PA 17057

BAL19@psu.edu – 717-948-6360



Social Justice & Library History Column

Dear blog readers,

I’m very excited to share that two of our blog volunteers, Ana Ramirez Luhrs and Tara Peace, are kicking off a new column here at LHRT News & Notes: Social Justice and Library History!

For the inaugural feature, Ana talks to librarian and film director Jill Baron.  Jill is the librarian for romance languages and Latin American, Latinx & Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College.  She is also the co-director of the documentary film Change the Subject, a film about a group of Dartmouth students who challenged the Library of Congress anti-immigrant subject headings. Read the full transcript of their interview here:


Many, many thanks to Ana for conducting this interview and to Jill for being interviewed—what a wonderfully -inspiring conversation about a stand for social justice in the library field!