Wayne and Shirley Wiegand receive 2019 Gleason Book Award for history of integration of Southern public libraries

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/02/2019


Danielle M. Ponton

Program Manager for Round Tables





CHICAGO — The Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award Committee of the American Library Association (ALA) Library History Round Table (LHRT) is pleased to present the 2019 Gleason Book Award to Wayne A. Wiegand, F. William Summers Professor of Library and Information Studies Emeritus and professor of American Studies at Florida State University, and Shirley A. Wiegand, professor Emerita of Law at Marquette University, for The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism (Louisiana State University Press, 2018). Presented every third year, the Gleason Award recognizes the best book written in English in the field of library history. First given in 2004, this award honors the professional contributions of Dr. Eliza Atkins Gleason, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Library Science (University of Chicago, 1940).

The Gleason Award Committee was impressed with the caliber of this year’s nominees. Also nominated was Libraries of Light: British Public Library Design in the Long 1960s by Alistair Black (Routledge, 2017). The Committee would like to congratulate the scholars making such important contributions to the field, and we would similarly like to thank the individuals who brought these works to our attention.

In The Desegregation of Public Libraries in the Jim Crow South: Civil Rights and Local Activism, Wayne and Shirley Wiegand deliver an illuminating account of the integration of Southern public libraries. The book relates how young African American community activists won the battle against segregation in libraries through organized protests and direct actions. Not only does this important work help lead library historiography away from its long-standing exceptionalist myths about its own moral virtue, it does so by forthrightly facing ALA’s complicity in extending Jim Crow racial segregation in its facilities as well as documenting the heroic actions of youth in pushing back against it.

We congratulate Professors Wayne and Shirley Wiegand on their valuable contribution to the professional scholarship of library history.

2019 Eliza Gleason Book Award Committee:

Carol A. Leibiger, Ph.D., M.A., MSLIS, Associate Professor, University of South Dakota (Committee Chair)

Anthony Bernier, Ph.D., M.A., MLIS, Professor, San Jose State University

Jennifer Burek Pierce, Ph.D., MLS., Associate Professor, University of Iowa

Allison G. Kaplan, Ed.D., MALIS, Faculty Associate, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Carole E. Nowicke, Ph.D., MLS, Adjunct Faculty/Public Health, Indiana University