You’re Invited: LHRT Reads Event

Hello everyone,

Please note that LHRT Reads events are virtual, and they’re open to both LHRT members and nonmembers:

We are pleased to invite you to the next LHRT Reads event! We will discuss Apostles of Culture: The Public Librarian and American Society, 1876–1920 by Dee Garrison. Join us on May 18th, 2023 at 7pm EST. Advance registration required. We welcome participants to suggest discussion questions in advance of the event. We look forward to seeing you there! 

LHRT Reads

Amanda Belantara (  and Michele Fenton (

New Database for Library & Book Historians!

“The Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia and the University of Virginia Library announce the publication of a landmark work of literary and bibliographical scholarship, an exhaustive bibliography and history of the Modern Library by Gordon B. Neavill. This digital database covers the most important American reprint series of significant works of literature and thought published in the twentieth century. For most readers of serious books, the Modern Library was the most tangible representation of the literary canon in the American cultural marketplace.” –From the Announcement


Search the Database/Bibliography:

Call for Paper Proposals: IFLA Library History Special Interest Group

Call for Paper Proposals: IFLA Library History Special Interest Group

Preserving our origins: Approaches to the organization, curation, and historiography of the record of national and international organizations in libraries, information, and documentation.

Featuring Keynote Address by Dr. Boyd Rayward on “The emergence of a Post World War II international information order: international associations, inter-governmental agencies, political platforms and technological affordances.” 

Deadline:  May 15, 2023

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) Library History SIG is soliciting paper proposals for its forthcoming IFLA Satellite Conference to take place in hybrid format at the Mundaneum in Mons, Belgium, from August 17 – 19, 2023.  This conference is being organized in collaboration with The Mundaneum Archive Centre and the IFLA Library Theory and Research Section. 

Featuring a keynote address by the eminent scholar Boyd Rayward, whose work on the legacy of Paul Otlet has inspired and transformed multiple aspects of the history of information science, this conference seeks to bring together historians, archivists, librarians, and representatives of associations to focus on the developing historiography of libraries, librarianship, the information sciences, and documentation with an emphasis on the associations and organizations that developed and supported the field’s tremendous global growth and impact over the past 125 years. Held at the Mundaneum in Mons, Belgium, the conference seeks to honor and emulate the transformative work of its founders Paul Otlet and Henri LaFontaine by bringing together the various associations, actors, and themes associated with the development and evolution of LIS in order to generate greater consciousness of the state of the resources to support the preservation of our history while exploring current and emergent historiography of the field. 

The two-day Satellite conference thus has two aims:

1)      to build on our understanding of the state of preservation and accessibility of historical sources for the historiography of library information sciences (LIS) and  information science and technology organizations.

2)      to further explore the history of these organizations from their origins in the late 19th and early 20th century to today.

The program also seeks to focus on digitization and curation programs as well as accounts that focus both on organizational history and the associated primary sources that serve as the basis of this research. An additional aim is to focus on archives, digitization, and sharing documentation to study selected topics in the history of LIS and documentation organizations in preparation for the celebration of IFLA’s 100 year history.

Themes and topics sought:

Track 1: Sources on the history of library science, information science, and documentation. 

o   Presentations and reports from archives regarding the state of collections, digitization initiatives, and sources related to the history of LIS;

o   Presentations and reports from associations regarding initiatives to preserve, documents, and reflect upon the histories and work of the field as it has developed professionally over the past 125 years;

o   Presentations and reports that share and reflect upon the use of digital humanities tools and technologies to both further document and generate new understandings of the history of LIS;

Track 2: Historiography of library science, information science and documentation in the long 20th century. 


Proposals must be submitted in English via email with the subject: IFLALIBHIST PROPOSAL 2023.  For each proposal please include the following information:

            Title of proposed presentation

            Abstract of the proposal (400 words)

            Name/s of presenters and positions and/or titles

            Employer or affiliated institution

            Contact information including email address and telephone number

            Short biographical statement of no more than 100 words

Further information about conference program can be found on the satellite conference page , or send questions to.  Registration information will be available shortly.  No IFLA membership or affiliation is required to attend or propose a paper.

Steve Witt:

Beyond Words…An Extraordinary Exhibit

Dear Readers,


That is one of the only words I could find that can come anywhere close to describing Rule No. 5. 

Named for Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science, Rule No. 5 is a novel multimedia exhibit by Amanda Belantara and A.M. Alpin–but it transcends this form. It is an immersive sensory experience that takes us deep into the mind of library workers, expressing what they think, what they feel, and how they perceive their libraries. 

Indeed, I think Belantara and Alpin’s exhibit can be described as an opera about libraries, as it brings together an incredible variety of artistic forms.  You’ll find poetic tributes; classical music; miniatures and artifacts; kaleidoscopic imagery; state-of-the-art cinematography; scintillating metaphors; rhetorical questions; kinesthetic experiences; and amazing sound compositions.  The creators weave these together into an entrancing exploration of the soul of libraries.

I encourage everyone to experience this for themselves at:

More about the Creators from the press release:

A.M. Alpin is an award-winning filmmaker, librarian, and scholar who uses digital and analog technology to tell compelling stories. Her body of work explores themes of memory and how we create personal and public histories.

Amanda Belantara is an audiovisual artist-anthropologist and librarian. She aspires to cultivate community and social change through creative exchange and incorporates sound recordings to uncover aural perspectives that are often missing from written works.

Amanda is a member of LHRT, and co-organizer of LHRT Reads. She can be reached at

a person at an exhibit, with a reflection, and streams of light

Image from Exhibit Home Page at

Information & Democracy: Education, Access, Libraries, and Society (ID:EALS) Symposium

Information & Democracy: Education, Access, Libraries, and Society (ID:EALS) Symposium

Free Virtual Event
April 12–13, 2023
All sessions in the afternoon, Eastern Time

Symposium Schedule

The inaugural Information & Democracy: Education, Access, Libraries, and Society (ID:EALS) symposium is hosted by the Institute for Information Literacy at Purdue. This two-day event with in-person and online options to attend will showcase research talks from notable information literacy and disciplinary researchers whose scholarship investigates the role of information literacy in addressing information challenges facing society.

Keynote speaker Mike Caulfield from the University of Washington will share insights gathered from a “citizen fact checking” model suited to today’s social internet environment. 

Keynote speaker Nicole Cooke from the University of South Carolina will discuss disinformation and the literacy landscape. 

The event will also feature panels showcasing the accomplishments and projects of the Institute for Information Literacy at Purdue in its first year and invite attendees to get involved in the work of the Institute.

Register here


Clarence Maybee
Director of the Institute for Information Literacy at Purdue

The Charming Miss Darlow [LAPL Blog]

Enjoy Tiffney Sanford’s latest post on the history of the Los Angeles Public Library, The Charming Miss Darlow.

Darlow was a phenomenal librarian that library historians should become more familiar with…Tiffney notes that she was “a poet, a stellar book reviewer, a master at matching readers to books, and likely the most traveled library worker across Southern California in the early twentieth century.”

Beautifully illustrated and featuring reproductions on primary sources, the post includes a comic depicting LAPL…and, for those who are captivated by historic library furniture like myself, be sure to catch the photos of the newspaper reading tables in one of the top photos!



Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award Winner Announced

Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award

Library History Round Table (LHRT)

American Library Association

CHICAGO — The Library History Round Table (LHRT) is pleased to announce that this year’s Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award winner is Dr. Alexandra (Alex) Schultz for her dissertation, “Imagined Histories: Hellenistic Libraries and the Idea of Greece.” Dr. Schultz is currently a Research Fellow in Classics at Jesus College, Cambridge, and will start as an Assistant Professor of Classics at Dartmouth College in July. She received her Ph.D. in Classical Philology from Harvard University (2021). Her dissertation examines the histories of Hellenistic libraries, actual and imaginary, and how these shaped ideas about Greece, Rome, and the supposed origins of Western Civilization.

Dr. Schultz’s ambitious and thorough work impressed members of the award committee, and deserves the Library History Round Table’s praise for her argument that “Only by studying the history of libraries as institutions and as ideas can we understand this important confluence of literature and power in the ancient world” (35). Her massive research scope included exploration of the shift from private, personal collections to immense public-facing libraries in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquests. Instead of emphasizing great men narratives of library establishment, she highlights the roles of ordinary people, from free male citizens to enslaved knowledge workers, in building and sustaining private and public libraries.

The biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation 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. The author of the selected dissertation receives a certificate and five hundred dollars.

Fabulous Stories and Photos of Los Angeles Public Library History

We would like to highlight some exciting work being done on the history of South California libraries. Tiffney Sanford, Administrative Clerk at the Los Angeles Public Library, has authored a series of wonderfully-crafted posts on LAPL’s blog that offer stories and images that you’ll find intriguing! Many thanks to her for bringing the history of one of America’s largest libraries to the web.

Library workers

Eleanor Brodie Jones: Hollywood Star Librarian

Monica Shannon: Advocate for Libraries, Leprechauns and Luckless Pigwidgeons

Celebrating Mr. Cobb on National Library Workers Day


The Library and the Department Store: Hamburger Building (1908-1914)

Dig Los Angeles: Hollywood Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library

Los Angeles Public Library Moved to City Hall in 1889

Los Angeles Public Library Opens in the Metropolitan Building

The 7½ Los Angeles Public Library Branches Named After Women

Libraries in Southern California Named After Women

Pomona Carnegie Library Opened June 11, 1903

The Story of the Texas Twin to the Old Lancaster Branch of the Los Angeles County Library

Library services

Tribute to the Traveling Branch

A Look at the Mobilibraries of the Los Angeles County Library

The Wartime Information Desk of the Los Angeles Public Library