Library History Round Table Newsletter

New Series Vol. 6 No. 3
Fall 2003


Message from the Chair | | Minutes | | News | | Auction | | Other News

Executive Meeting (open to all interested members) will be held on Sunday, January 11, 2004 from 8:30-11:30 a.m.

   Message from the Chair

First, I want to thank Christine Jenkins for her leadership of LHRT in the past year, and for being available as advisor and consultant to me as new chair. Under her direction, the round table sponsored a successful program titled “U.S. and Canadian History: The Same but Different” at the Annual Conference in June, held jointly with the Canadian Library Association. In spite of the SARS scare, the conference was well-attended and memorable. Congratulations and thanks to Christine and all of the participants. With great reluctance, I have to announce that our long-time ALA staff liaison, Mary Jo Lynch, is retiring and will be moving to Ann Arbor, Michigan. Mary Jo’s career at ALA goes back 27 years, and she has been LHRT’s liaison for about 10 years. Mary Jo has become a beloved support for our round table and will be sorely missed. She has guided us through ALA paperwork, kept us informed of deadlines, proofed the minutes of our meetings, suggested agenda items, written the treasurer’s report, and guided the newsletter to print. Her amazing institutional memory has been a resource for many of us, and her guidance has been invaluable to many a newly-elected chair. “I will always treasure my years and friends at ALA,” she writes. And we will treasure our association with Mary Jo, liaison-extraordinaire. Midwinter conference is fast approaching, and among the agenda items are the progress made so far in promoting the awards, including the new Gleason Award, the revised description for which you’ll find elsewhere in this newsletter. The completion of the Officers’ Handbook, which is one of my goals for the year, will also be discussed. Looking ahead to June, we have scheduled a program on Books and Libraries in World War II, with details to come. And please don’t forget the LHRT Book Auction, which will be held at the Library History Seminar in June 2005. Contact David Hovde if you have books to donate. With many thanks for all the hard work and support of our membership, Joy Kingsolver


ALA Library History Round Table
Executive Committee
Toronto Royal York Hotel
June 22, 2003

Attendance: Christine Jenkins (chair), Kathy Bork, Tom Glynn, Toby Graham, Elizabeth Hanson, David Hovde, Melanie Kimble, Mary Jo Lynch, Cheryl Malone, Christine Pawley, Ken Potts, Jean Preer, Holley Willett

I. Welcome, introductions and agenda

II. Approval of Minutes (ALA Mid-Winter, Jan. 26, 2003): Distributed in LHRT Newsletter prior to meeting. Approved by consensus.

III. Old Business

A. Membership statistics: Mary Jo Lynch distributed a statistical report dated April 2003. She related that the numbers do not seem as strong as in past years. The number of regular members went up 4.39%, but students went down 5.26%. The result is a slight drop. When the other membership categories are added in, the total change is -.22%. This is a small decrease, but the concern is that the membership is not growing. Christine Jenkins related that LHRT would have a presence at the NMRT reception later that day, which she hoped would help with recruiting.

B. Hanson Exhibition: Elizabeth Hanson related that two years ago she curated an exhibit at McGill University Archives on the first ALA conference held in Canada, which was in Montreal in 1900. Prior to mid-winter, she asked for support from LHRT and from CLA to put on this display again in conjunction with the ALA annual meeting in Toronto. Elizabeth Hanson expressed appreciation for the verbal support of LHRT and the $200 expenditure it approved in January for the exhibition. Unfortunately, ALA was unable to find space for the exhibit or to reach a decision in time for Hanson to secure another venue. Elizabeth Hanson thanked Mary Jo Lynch for forwarding and championing the proposal.

IV. New Business

A. Treasurers report: Mary Jo Lynch prepared a treasurers report, which was distributed. The report, covering expenditures through April 30, indicates an overall balance of $7,327 exclusive of endowment funds. Toby Graham reported (from information provided by Mary Jo Lynch) that as with the mid-winter report, no dues are listed on lines 4001 (organizational dues) and 4003 (life dues). This is a result of a reporting system problem affecting all round tables. The dues money for these categories is included under line 4000 (personal dues). On line 5599 (misc. expense), the $87 listed was to reimburse Mark Tucker for the cost of the plaque presented to Don Davis during the mid-winter conference to recognize his 25 years of service as editor of Libraries & Culture. Line 5909 (distribution center) indicates a $311 expenditure. This was charged erroneously and is being corrected. In terms of endowment funds, the Winsor prize endowment showed $8,742 as of April 30, so it continued to slip since mid-winter (by $170). The LHRT Lectureship fund had $9,667 as of April 30. It was started last year at $10,000, a figure achieved by combining the royalties of Wayne Wiegand's book Irrepressible Reformer, the proceeds of two LHRT auctions, and $739 from the LHRT operating budget. According to the terms of the gift, LHRT will need to raise a $7500 match before it can begin to use the endowment. Mary Jo Lynch added that book royalties had been, in fact, in excess of the $7500 promised by Wayne Wiegand, and as a result LHRT will need to return $480. Mary Jo Lynch distributed a report to this effect. She related that in addition to the decrease in the $10K figure from market losses, the $480 pay back will be another significant decrease.

B. Committee Reports
1. Auction Committee: Christine Jenkins related that David Hovde will coordinate the auction to be held at Library History Seminar XI in October 2005 at the Alterton Conference Center. A call for contributions and updates on contributions will appear on the LHRT Web site. Auction donations are not limited to books. Manuscripts, photographs, and other items of interest are welcome.

2. Nominations Committee: Christine Jenkins reported that the committee had completed its work and the elections were held. A concern is that ALA has moved the deadline for nominations to an earlier date. Mary Jo Lynch related that the schedule will go out in the fall and that she will get it to the chair of the Nominations Committee at that time (and once a chair is named). Christine Jenkins encouraged individuals interested in serving on a committee to contact Joy Kingsolver (incoming chair).

3. Publications Committee: Christine Jenkins related that the newsletter continues to appear as a result of the combined efforts of Ed Goedeken, David Hovde, and Lee Shiflett. She raised the issue of the transition problems associated with the ALA Web site. Mary Jo Lynch verified that there have been complications and related that ALA had held a meeting on the Web site last week. One outcome will be addressing the problem of the long urls. Christine Jenkins had been in touch with Joy Kingsolver who has encountered problems posting the spring 2003 newsletter. Kathy Bork volunteered to help Joy get the problem resolved.

4. Justin Winsor Award Committee: Toby Graham reported that no Winsor prize would be presented this year as the committee could not settle on a paper that met each of the award criteria. The call for papers was sent to all ALA-accredited LIS programs and posted to key listservs. There were nine entries. Other committee members are Toni Samek (next year's chair) and Marek Sroka (last year's winner).

5. Phyllis Dain Award Committee: Christine Jenkins reported that there would be no award as there were no nominees. She considered this a publicity problem, since eligible dissertations have been completed. Christine Jenkins suggested that LHRT produce a flier that could be sent to library schools. Ken Potts suggested advertising the award in Libraries & Culture.

6. Research Committee: Jean Preer distributed a proposal that she drafted with Christine Jenkins and Mary Jo Lynch revising the charge and composition of the Research Committee. Attendees considered and voted on each of the proposal's three paragraphs individually.

The first paragraph on the purpose and membership of the Research Committee reads: "The Research Committee of the Library History Round Table will be chaired by the LHRT chair-elect and comprised of the chairs of the round table's award committees (Dain, Winsor, Davis, and Gleason). The committee will coordinate and oversee the award of the round table's prizes in library history, share information about prize procedures and publicity, and increase the visibility of the awards within ALA and the scholarly community. The bibliographer of the LHRT newsletter will serve as an ex-officio member of the Research Committee to provide information, as needed, to any of the prize committees, but will not participate in selecting the prizewinners." Ken Potts moved to adopt, Holley Willett seconded, and the vote passed.

The second paragraph on the structure of prize committees reads: "Terms of membership on the prize committees may vary, but each committee should be in continuous existence, with members serving terms long enough to insure continuity through the award cycle." Holley Willett moved to adopt, Melanie Kimble seconded, and the vote passed.

The third paragraph on responsibility for the Research Forum reads as follows (the second sentence having been added during discussion): "It is further proposed that the chair-elect be responsible for the yearly LHRT Research Forum at the ALA annual conference. The chair-elect may delegate responsibility to a subcommittee, in which case the chair-elect would serve as chair of the subcommittee." Christine Pawley moved to adopt, Ken Potts seconded, and the vote passed.

During the discussion of these measures, Jean Preer argued that LHRT's difficulty this year in soliciting award-winning research demonstrates the need for a committee to look at all of the awards together. This committee would assure consistency of guidelines and would result in a focused effort to raise awareness of the awards. Christine Jenkins clarified the timing of the awards relating that LHRT presents the Dain award (for dissertations) every 2 years, the Winsor prize (for unpublished research) every year, the Davis award (for published articles) every 2 years, and the Gleason book prize every 3 years. She emphasized the desirability of having award committee members who cycle to chair after serving as members for the two previous years thus providing continuity and institutional memory. Also, she suggested that including past winners on the committees is beneficial.

There was discussion about editing the guidelines of awards, particularly the Gleason book prize which has yet to be given. Mary Jo Lynch related that the source of the prize description is the draft handbook, and it can be changed by the steering committee. The descriptions do not have the weight of a constitutional measure.

In discussing the Research Forum, David Hovde related that the original intent was to allow new people in the field an opportunity to present their research. It was not thematically based like the regular program, though it has not been implemented consistently in this regard. Attendees also discussed the desirability of requiring Forum presenters to be LHRT members as a means of promoting the round table. The consensus was to require membership of those selected to present, but not to require it as a prerequisite for applying.

Answering a question on the Gleason book prize by Cheryl Malone, Jean Preer stated that submissions are due December 2003, and LHRT will present the prize in 2004. There is still a question of whether books published 2000-2002 are eligible or if a 4th year (2003) should be added since the prize has yet to be given. Mary Jo Lynch also related that how books are submitted is an issue to be addressed. A set of criteria or nomination process would help to prevent blanket submissions of ineligible books by publishers.

V. Other

A. Readers Theater: Dennis Stephens, librarian at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, has contacted Christine Jenkins asking whether LHRT could provide a venue for a readers theatre based on the Kephart papers. The performance features primary sources describing early reference desk experiences. There was general agreement that the theater would be an appropriate addition to the Library History Seminar XI, which will be hosted by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October 2005.

B. ALISE Library History SIG Proposal: Christine Pawley distributed copies of her proposal for a program at the January 2004 ALISE meeting. She suggests that LIS faculty and students use the Library History SIG session to revisit the LHRT's 1989 Statement on History in Education for Library and Information Science. She poses the following questions: Have the Statement's recommendations in fact been followed? In what specific and practical ways have they been followed? What other strategies might work? Are the recommendations still appropriate? What issues might we add to the list, or delete from it? What other changes does the current LIS community suggest? The program will feature short presentations by Christine Pawley, Lorna Peterson, Joyce M. Latham, and James V. Carmichael, Jr. prior to the general discussion. The proposal indicates that the notes from the meeting will be delivered to the LHRT executive committee and be posted to the JESSE listserv.

Jean Preer suggested that the session also attempt to determine "what's going on with history in LIS education?" Is there a problem as evidenced by the small number of submissions for our awards? Christine Pawley replied that, considering the diminishing number of related courses being offered and small number of interested faculty, the situation appears to be dire, though students continue to be fascinated by the subject matter.

C. Liaisons: In response to a question by Jean Preer on the role of liaisons in promoting LHRT, attendees questioned the necessity of LHRT having such a large number of liaison positions. Mary Jo Lynch communicated that LHRT has more liaisons than any other round table. Originally, they were to provide information for the newsletter, but David Hovde indicated that they have been used infrequently for this purpose. He related that when he was LHRT chair, he questioned the role of the liaisons, getting a sense that they accomplish little and place a burden on the chair in recruiting such a large number of people. He suggested that at mid-winter LHRT executive committee reconsider the role of liaisons. Cheryl Malone moved that LHRT suspend the naming of new liaisons until the discussion takes place, Jean Preer seconded, and the vote passed.

D. 2004 Research Forum: Christine Pawley agreed to lead next year's Research Forum at the request of Jean Preer.

Adjournment 10:30

Reported by Toby Graham


Wayne Wiegand will be continuing the editorial work that he and Pamela Spence Richards began in the early 1990s on a new multinational history of libraries entitled Constructing the Heritage of Cultures: A World History of Modern Librarianship. Essays include: North America by Wayne Wiegand, Europe by Peter Hoare, South Asia by Jagtar Singh, East and Southeast Asia by Priscilla Yu, the Middle East by Shmuel Sever, Australasia by Michael Talbot, Africa by Tony Olden, and South and Central America and Mexico by Daniel Durrett. The book will be published by IFLA probably in 2005 or 2006.

Oak Knoll Press has added many new features including a list of more than 40 Listservs that are of special interest to people involved with books and allied subjects. These Listservs deal with all aspects of book making, book collecting, libraries, the book arts and paper arts. Sometimes several lists deal with the same subject. The list, including a link to SHARP-L can be found in our "Bibliophile Resources" section on the "About Us" pull down menu. The link to our home page is

   LHRT Auction

Please note the upcoming Library History Round Table Auction in 2005 of books, serials, and ephemera related to librarianship, libraries, publishing history, and book culture. Funds raised from the auction helps support the LHRT speaker. Our next auction is scheduled for the Library History Seminar in 2005. This will give us time to acquire more good books and will assure us a good crowd of potential bidders. Please consider a donation for this important event.

To view the catalog, go to

You may send material to: LHRT Auction, C/O David Hovde, Purdue University Libraries HSSE, 504 West State Street, West Lafayette IN 47907-2058

Book History offers an annual prize to the outstanding graduate student essay submitted to our journal. The competition is open to anyone pursuing a course of graduate study at the time of submission. The award has been increased from $200 to $400, and the winning essay will be published in Book History.

Articles dealing with any part of the American hemisphere, Judaica, or the Middle East should be submitted to Prof. Ezra Greenspan, Department of English, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0435, USA, (note change of address). All other articles should be submitted to Prof. Jonathan Rose, Department of History, Drew University, Madison, NJ 07940, USA,

Ed Goedeken will be retiring as co-editor of the LHRT Newsletter after the Spring 2004 issue the LHRT Newsletter. He has held this august post since 1990 and believes it is time for new blood in this position. Anyone interested in becoming a co-editor please contact the LHRT co-editors or Joy Kingsolver.

   Other News

"Librarian restores records lost in World Trade Center disaster"

September 11, 2001 brought catastrophic loss with the collapse of the World Trade Center. Many businesses and organizations lost original records, including historic, one-of-a-kind documents. One such organization, the American Merchant Marine Library Association (AMMLA) located on the 21st floor of the World Trade Center, lost everything. But, thanks to Purdue librarian, David M. Hovde, there is a happy ending. Since the late 1980's David Hovde, associate professor of library science and sociology/anthropology bibliographer has been digging through archives containing diaries, photographs and letters, in places like the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, the YMCA of the USA Archives, the Mystic Seaport Museum, and the American Library Association Archives to research an interest in American benevolent societies that provide portable libraries to groups on the fringes of American society. In 1991 he visited the AMMLA. Founded in 1921, the organization has supplied books, free of charge, to merchant vessels, cargo ships, and tankers, placing thousands of libraries on U.S. vessels. The "Public Library of the High Seas," they have helped seafarers relieve the monotony of life away from home.
In researching the archives, including correspondence, memos, glass plate negatives, bookplates, bookmarks, promotional literature and newsletters, Hovde made copies of these materials and was even given some original duplicate pieces. Hovde contacted the director and has been sending back many photocopies and original documents to a grateful organization. He says, "It's a great feeling to help them out".

[Editors' note: Versions of this article were published in Libraries Newsletter 2 (Summer 2003), p. 13; and in Inside Scoop v. 11, no. 1 (2003), p. 1.]