A Book for Every Man: The ALA Library War Service


Within weeks of the United States’ entry into World War I in April of 1917, the American Library Association and its members undertook a massive volunteer effort to raise funds, collect books, magazines, and other reading materials for American soldiers in camp libraries at home and abroad. The Library War Service was the first large public engagement program that the Association launched and its success spoke of the wider public reach the ALA could obtain.

Ultimately, the Library War Service would fundamentally change the American Library Association from a insular professional society to one that was public service driven and with goals for national leadership.


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