Contact: R. Norman Rose

Program Officer

American Library Association

Office of Research and Statistics

(312) 280-4283


For Immediate Release

March 20, 2009

Richard LeComte winner of Justin Winsor Prize

The Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) has named Richard LeComte the winner of the Justin Winsor Prize for 2009. 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 author is also invited to publish the essay in Libraries & Culture, a journal of library history published by University of Texas Press.

An MLIS student in the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alabama, LeComte won the prize for his essay, “Writers Blocked : The Debate Over Public Lending Right in the United States During the 1980s.”

The article addresses an area of American library history that has not previously received attention. The issue of Public Lending Right is presented in the context of the tension between intellectual property rights and the mission of libraries to provide free access to materials. The study explores the interactions among policy makers, libraries and the authors whose works populate those libraries.

The Library History Round Table will present the award during the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. The mission of the Round Table is to encourage research and publication on library history and promote awareness and discussion of historical issues in librarianship. To this end, the Round Table sponsors conferences, publishes a newsletter and presents the Justin Winsor Prize and the Phyllis Dain Dissertation Award to promote excellence in library history research.