Library History Round Table (LHRT)

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The Library History Round Table of the American Library Association exists to facilitate communication among scholars and students of library...

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LHRT awards honor dissertations, articles, and books that make notable contributions to the library history field.

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LHRT oversees the publication of Libraries: Culture, History, and Society and LHRT News and Notes.

Library History Seminar XIV: Libraries Without Borders 

Final Call For Proposals

June 10-13, 2021


The Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce a virtual Library History Seminar (LHS) and we’d like to offer you an opportunity to share your research!


LHS XIV, originally scheduled for August 2020 in Baton Rouge, was postponed due to COVID-19. Over the past 6 months, LHRT has been retooling to deliver the conference online. The current theme, “Libraries Without Borders,” embraces the previous theme of “Librarians Without Borders: Historical Perspectives on Outreach,” while indicating LHRT’s eagerness to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion and to leverage technology to make the seminar more accessible. Unlike previous events, LHS XIV will be low-cost or no-cost for attendees in hopes that more students, practitioners, and overseas colleagues will be able to participate. In addition to the customary research papers, we aspire to provide a virtual poster session, “how-to” programming, and other opportunities for less formal sharing.


LHS XIV seeks to explore the history of library outreach and service development in all of its forms. “Library,” “librarian,” “outreach,” and “service” are defined in the broadest possible terms. The concept of “library” embraces public, academic, school, special, grassroots, and personal libraries, far beyond the traditional conceptualization of an established, physical institution with a collection of materials and geographically-defined clientele. “Librarians” include all of those who identify or labor as such, regardless of whether they hold academic or other professional credentials. “Outreach” and “service” range from formal programs designed to engage underserved/marginalized groups; to collaborations between libraries and other cultural heritage organizations; to various racial/ethnic groups’ and individuals’ efforts to establish libraries or share materials amongst themselves. Papers and posters that explore the unique, the unusual, or the esoteric are especially welcome!


Live paper presentations will take place online Thursday, June 10, through Sunday, June 13, 2021. Asynchronous poster presentations will be uploaded the same week and be open for audience feedback during the conference. Technological arrangements are forthcoming.


Submissions are due no later than Sunday, March 28, 2021, at 5:00 p.m. EST. Please submit your proposal to


Each proposal must include:

  • Presenter’s name and institutional affiliation (if applicable)
  • E-mail address
  • Paper title
  • Abstract (250-500 words)
  • Your preference for delivering a live paper or an asynchronous poster

Note: Previously-accepted presenters do not need to resubmit their proposals.


Proposals will be peer-reviewed by a panel of library history scholars. There are no plans for proceedings or published volume.


Notification will occur in early April 2021. Over the following 2 months, the LHS Logistical and Technical Arrangements Committee will be in touch with all accepted authors to provide clear instructions for participation.


Questions/concerns may be directed to Bernadette A. Lear,, Chair of LHRT and Chair of the LHS Logistical and Technical Arrangements Committee.


Looking forward to seeing you at LHS!

LHRT encourages research and publication on library history and promotes awareness and discussion of historical issues in librarianship.

Check out LHRT's journal: Libraries: Culture, History, and Society.


Libraries: Culture, History, and Society (LCHS) is now accepting submissions for volume 5, number 1, to be published Spring 2021, and for subsequent issues to be published semiannually. A peer-reviewed publication of the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association and the Penn State University Press, LCHS is available in print and online via JSTOR and Project Muse.

The only journal in the United States devoted to library history, LCHS positions library history as its own field of scholarship, while bringing together scholars from many disciplines to examine the history of libraries as institutions, collections, and services, as well as the experiences of library employees and users. There are no limits of time period or geography, and libraries of every type are included (private, public, corporate, academic, and school libraries, and special collections). In addition to Library Science, the journal welcomes contributors from History, English, Literary Studies, Education, Sociology,  Gender/Women’s Studies, Race/Ethnic Studies, Political Science, Architecture, and other disciplines.

Submissions for volume 5, issue 1, are due August 28th, 2020, and the deadline for volume 5, issue 2 will be in late February. Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through LCHS’s Editorial Manager system at . They must also conform to the instructions for authors at New scholars, and authors whose work is in the "idea" stage, are welcomed to contact the editors if they would like guidance prior to submission.    

For further questions, please contact the editors:
Bernadette Lear,
Eric Novotny,


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