Monday, December 21, 2009

Library History 2009

There were some library history highlights in 2009 and a few lowlights. If you have others to suggest, let me know. The Special Libraries Association did an exceptional job of celebrating its centennial this year. Nice job on the special postage stamp for this occasion. I highly recommend their celebration as a model for other library groups. A number of other libraries and library organizations also celebrated key anniversaries this year including these. The Library History Round Table of the American Library Association continued its active promotion of library history. I was pleased to meet many of the members of this group at the ALA Conference in Chicago where they sponsored some great programs. If you are interested in library history, this is the group for you. Under the leadership of editor David B. Gracy II, there were excellent quarterly issues of Libraries & The Cultural Record in 2009. We library history buffs are grateful for the dedicated research of those who get published in this journal. The North Carolina State Library put a digital collection commemorating the legacy of North Carolina's public libraries online. It is nice to see a digital project with a primary focus on library history. There aren't many of those. The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center celebrated its one year anniversary in March and inducted its second group of individuals into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in October. Wisconsin Library Memorabilia exhibits took place at the Milwaukee Public Library, the South Milwaukee Public Library, and the Door County Library. Although not in a prominent location, the excellent "Art and Architecture in Illinois Libraries" exhibit was on display at the ALA Conference in Chicago in July. On a personal note, I was pleased to receive the Edmund Lester Pearson Library Humor Award for 2009 and to be inducted into the Molesworth Institute. This Library History Buff Blog celebrated its one year anniversary in November. A couple of failed opportunities: The American Library Association failed to take advantage of an opportunity to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of its move to Chicago at its annual conference in Chicago. I did a small part to bring attention to this occasion and to highlight ALA's history. ALA's Public Library Association failed to acknowledge the 160th anniversary of New Hampshire's public library law, the first statewide public library law in America, which occurred one year before the passage of Great Britain's public library law.

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