Equalizing Library Opportunities 1927
In 1927 the Committee on Library Extension of the American Library Association published a small brochure (see above) that described the inequality of access to public library service in the nation and advanced the goal of "Adequate public library service within easy reach of every one". It then offered some strategies for achieving that goal. A chart in the brochure (at left) showed that more than 50 million Americans were without library service, mostly in rural areas. Elsewhere in the…
Melvil Dewey and the Two Lake Placids
Melvil Dewey - yes, the very same Dewey of the Dewey Decimal Classification System - is responsible for a great chunk of Lake Placid's storied history. Dewey was chief librarian at Columbia University from 1883-1888, and from 1888 to 1906 he served as...
Public Libraries: An American Contribution to Civilization :: American Library Association Archives Posters
1926: ALA celebrates its 50th anniversary with this poster: Public Libraries, an American Contribution to Civilization.
1926, July 15: The Los Angeles Central Library, originally designed by Bertram Goodhue and completed by his associate Carleton Winslow, is dedicated. Built in ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean revival style, the central tower is topped with a tiled mosaic pyramid with suns on either side and a hand holding a torch representing the "Light of Learning" at the apex. Other elements include sphinxes, snakes, and celestial mosaics.
1926: As a gesture of appreciation for sending St. Louis Public Library Director Arthur E. Bostwick on a consulting trip, the Library Association of China and its secretary Yuan Tung-li (1895-1965) send to ALA headquarters a 1000-year-old earthenware statuette of an oxcart used to transport manuscripts. Unfortunately, the statuette has been misplaced in recent years.
1926, May 31-Nov. 30: 3,600 square feet of floor space is assigned to ALA, free of charge (a rental value of $18,000), at the Sesquicentennial Exposition in Philadelphia. ALA considers it an unusual opportunity to present library work to the general public. The exhibit contains a model children's room, a bookmobile, and ALA's original record book from its 1876 conference. The ALA exhibit wins a Grand Prize from the Exposition jury.
1926: The ALA Commission on the Library and Adult Education publishes its report on the status of lifelong education in US libraries, funded with the help of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and finds "outstanding deficiency in all forms of adult educational work." Afterwards, ALA establishes a standing Board on Library and Adult Education.
ALA's Jubilee, 1926
Drexel Institute, Philadelphia, site of ALA's 50th anniversary sessions The leaders of the American Library Association recognized the significance of its fiftieth anniversary in 1926 and celebrated accordingly. The primary site for ALA's annual conference, October 4-9, 1926 was Atlantic City, New Jersey, but arrangements were also made to have commemorative sessions in Philadelphia on October 6, the date that ALA was founded in 1876. The attendance in Atlantic City was 2,224, the largest…
1926, March: Frederick Paul Keppel (1875-1943), president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, informs ALA that it plans to grant it $4 million over the next 10 years. The funds will be used to endow a graduate library school (at the University of Chicago), aid other library schools, begin a general ALA endowment fund, and carry on ALA's general activities.
1926: For its 50th anniversary, ALA encourages every library in the US to set up an exhibit to let the public know about the interesting things that libraries do. This library exhibit is at a farmers' meeting in New Jersey. The ALA Bulletin notes: "Probably everyone who passed these exhibits stopped at least to read the captions."