World War I spread tragedy and despair across the world, but the American Library Association worked to brighten the spirits of wounded soldiers. In 1917, the American Library Association provided library services to wounded soldiers and delivered books, newspapers, and magazines to more than 200 army and navy hospitals. The ALA was able to send trained librarians to 75 military hospitals to aid in the outreach.
In the middle of all of the holiday cheer, December is also a month for librarians across the country to think back on those who gave back to their communities. The late Lutie Eugenia Stearns, born on September 13, 1866, influenced many within the field of librarianship. With the holiday season upon us, who better to write about than a woman who selflessly dedicated her life to advocate for those whose voices went unheard?
Lutie Stearns began her career as a teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools. With her apt skills in book collecting, she soon caught the eye of the Milwaukee Public Library’s, Minnie M. Oakley. After Minnie’s death in 1895, Stearns was then appointed head Librarian. Continue reading “The Gift of Literacy: Lutie E. Stearns”
Every archivist has encountered a collection that has given them a hard time or left them with a puzzled look on their face as they ponder where to start. As an archivist, preserving materials is one of the most important tasks that we face in our jobs. Here at the ALA Archives, we receive collections with materials that range from oversized posters, 100 year old documents, and pictures, and it is our job to keep these historic materials in the best shape as possible.
While working on reprocessing a collection that included Executive Board minutes from ALA meetings, I encountered an interesting situation. The documents were all bound together by different materials, some screwed together with metal, some with plastic, and it was my job to get the potential paper damager out.
Libraries around the world have progressively become more aware of the services they provide for users with disabilities. According to the ALA, they “recognize that people with disabilities are a large and neglected minority in the community and are severely underrepresented in the library profession.” Continue reading “Access for All!: Select A.L.A. Resources for People of All Abilities”