It’s long past time that library organizations and individual libraries do something to recognize the black kids—many of them still alive like Joan Mattison Daniel—who risked their lives at this critical time. Here are some of their stories. The Tougaloo Nine At 11 a.m. on March 27, 1961, nine students from the historically black Tougaloo … Continue reading Desegregating Libraries in the American South
Author Archive: Wayne A. Wiegand
Section 215, which became known as the “library records provision,” not only allowed law enforcement agencies to secretly monitor electronic communications emanating from libraries, it also required librarians to turn over patron information if requested and even imposed a gag order on those forced to comply, thus preventing them from telling anyone. ALA opposition to … Continue reading “Baseless Hysteria”?
ALA hoped to add 25,000 square feet of office space by taking title to the ground and six floors in the new building, then lease three of those six floors to offset expenses for furnishing and finishing the new space and renovating 50 East Huron Street. Many doubted the wisdom of the move. That ALA … Continue reading The Saga of Huron Plaza
By any measure, the event was a huge success: Some 68 million subscribers to 22 national magazines could read well-placed articles about libraries. A total of 170 million homes served by radio and TV could hear or view 14 network programs on libraries. Readers could glean 11,607 stories celebrating libraries running in newspapers at the … Continue reading National Library Week
Eisenhower’s words shocked many because they constituted his first public challenge to McCarthyism—an ethos enveloping the country at the time and fed by Senator Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.), who inferred communist conspiracies everywhere in American culture, including books on the shelves of 194 information libraries that the US State Department operated in 61 foreign countries. Like-minded … Continue reading The Freedom to Read
The ALA established its Library War Service in 1917 to provide books and library services to US soldiers and sailors both in training at home and serving in Europe. This second book drive in early 1918 generated 3 million books, many going overseas, others ending up on the shelves of 36 training-camp libraries erected through … Continue reading The Library War Service
The forces that brought them together were diverse. In 1875, US Commissioner of Education John Eaton was looking for a venue to announce a Special Report on Public Libraries he planned to publish the next year. On July 2, he asked Boston Public Library Director Justin Winsor about a library conference. (We don’t know whether … Continue reading Present at the Creation