Making archives come alive for public libraries and their communities

For Immediate Release
Mon, 06/22/2015


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

ALA Publishing

American Library Association


CHICAGO — Librarians and archivists across the country are developing innovative ways to bring library users into new relationships with archival professionals and research collections. From social archives and citizen cartography to artist-curators and photovoice projects, special collections departments are demonstrating their value not only for preservation but also for outreach, education and public service. In “Archives Alive: Expanding Engagement with Public Library Archives and Special Collections,” published by ALA Editions, Diantha Dow Schull canvasses the nation, showcasing exciting ideas that can be adapted for every public library. A must-have text for anyone with responsibilities for directing, managing or teaching archival services, as well as for those who are studying best practices and planning for change, this book:

  • offers examples of more than 100 projects that reflect the scope and variety of emerging practices that foster public engagement, culled from conversations with dozens of the nation’s leading public library archivists and special collections staff;
  • profiles 13 institutions and departments that are in the forefront of change;
  • analyzes trends in public programming, community documentation, and digital communications that are re-shaping the image, functions, content and uses of public library archives and special collections.

Schull is an advisor to libraries, museums, and foundations on organizational and program development. Her previous positions include president of Libraries for the Future and the Americans for Libraries Council, director of exhibitions and education at the New York Public Library, director of interpretive programs at the Library of Congress, and assistant director of the Museum Aid Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. She is the author of “50+ Library Services: Innovation in Action” and coeditor of “Boomers and Beyond: Reconsidering the Role of Libraries.”

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide. ALA Editions publishes resources used worldwide by tens of thousands of library and information professionals to improve programs, build on best practices, develop leadership, and for personal professional development. ALA authors and developers are leaders in their fields, and their content is published in a growing range of print and electronic formats. Contact ALA Editions at (800) 545-2433 ext. 5418 or