Steven A. Knowlton receives the 2016 Justin Winsor essay award from the Library History Round Table

For Immediate Release
Tue, 03/15/2016


Kelsey Henke

Program Officer

Office of Research and Statistics


CHICAGO — The Library History Round Table has awarded Steven A. Knowlton the 2016 Justin Winsor Prize. The award, $500 and a certificate, is presented annually to the author of an outstanding essay embodying original historical research on a significant subject of library history. The winning essay will be considered for publication in "Information & Culture: A Journal of History." The award is named in honor of the distinguished 19th century librarian, historian and bibliographer who was also ALA's first president.

Knowlton, an assistant professor of libraries collection management at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee, received the award for his essay "Since I was a citizen, I had the right to attend the library: the key role of the public library in the civil rights movement in Memphis." The jury remarked, “Out of several excellent submissions, this one was chosen because it was truly a gripping read. The paper is situated at the intersection of history, law, and civil rights, and is of both historical and current interest. It made excellent use of primary sources, including court documents and newspapers, and builds on existing work in the field.”

The Library History Round Table of the American Library Association exists to facilitate communication among scholars and students of library history, to support research in library history and to be active in issues, such as preservation, that concern library historians. The round table sponsors conferences, publishes a newsletter and presents awards such as the Justin Winsor Award to promote excellence in library history research.

More information on the Library History Round Table is available at the website: