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When America's Librarians Went To War
American Library Association volunteers in Paris on Feb. 27, 1919.

Looking back at the nationwide support for American troops in the two world wars, we see Americans of all stripes making patriotic contributions and sacrifices — including farmers, factory workers and librarians.

Wait.  What?  How did librarians fit in to national security in the 20th century?  In an array of ways, says Cara Bertram, an archivist for the American Library Association.  Libraries were established at hospitals and military bases.

“In both wars, librarians back at home or on the front were key in collecting and distributing books to soldiers,” Bertram says.  “During World War I, librarians maintained camp and hospital libraries,” and in both world wars, “librarians promoted books drives and encouraged donations.”

Librarians were especially active during World War I.  The ALA reports that between 1917 and 1920, its Library War Service established three dozen camp libraries with the support of the Carnegie Corporation and raised $5 million in public contributions.  Special uniforms were created for librarians in World War I.  The American Library in Paris — established in 1920 by the ALA and American expatriates, and seeded with books from the LWS — continues to this day.

War Librarians.

(also fodder for Wartime!Librarian!Steve Rogers AU fanfics?)

Here are five picks from ALA to help you make the most of your work in libraries!

10

Oh, Those Clever Librarians and Their #Bookface

Bookface involves strategically lining up your face or another body part alongside a book cover that features a matching body part so that there appears a melding of life and art. Librarians and other book lovers post these photos weekly on visual apps like Instagram, using the caption #BookfaceFriday. The minitrend is giving a boost to the digital presence of institutions that are, by definition, purveyors of analog information.

READ MORE

3

Books Build Children

Created earlier this year by Dentsu Tokyo for the Yokohama City Board of Education, the “Books to build children” ad campaign hopes to recruit librarians to work in elementary school libraries.

Funny how we have to fight tooth and nail to keep our elementary school libraries open while other countries are actually in need of, and desire, real-life school librarians to help spread the joy of reading.

Previously on Book Patrol:
Latest study confirms that school libraries positively impact student test scores
After helping the Ferguson Public Library we need to go to Philadelphia

vine

Kudos to the Kennedy Library at California Polytechnic Unversity for their sweet Vine, showing off the rare book The Tunnel Calamity, by Edward Gorey.
What a rad way to show off the benefit and joy of a paper book while existing on the internet! High fives all around.

Looking back at the nationwide support for American troops in the two world wars, we see Americans of all stripes making patriotic contributions and sacrifices — including farmers, factory workers and librarians.

Wait. What? How did librarians fit in to national security in the 20th century? In an array of ways, says Cara Bertram, an archivist for the American Library Association. Libraries were established at hospitals and military bases.

“In both wars, librarians back at home or on the front were key in collecting and distributing books to soldiers,” Bertram says. “During World War I, librarians maintained camp and hospital libraries,” and in both world wars, “librarians promoted books drives and encouraged donations.”

When America’s Librarians Went To War

Photo: Courtesy of the University of Illinois Archives

New Batgirl Hits the Library Via ALA

For many years the American Library Association has materials featuring DC Superheroes such as Batman and Wonder Woman reading books. And one superhero who was actually a librarian.

The ALA has once again turned to Batgirl for swag with a new poster.

Barbara Gordon is in the current continuity no longer a librarian but she does wear some kick ass yellow Doc Martens.

There’s other new posters including Wonder Woman and Lil Gotham

And look there’s Barbara Gordon as Oracle, still a librarian, on the lower right! 

(h/t) @amyziegfeld

With a world of information at our fingertips — virtually anytime, anywhere — do we still need physical book-and-mortar libraries? Here’s one librarian’s answer:

“Public libraries are arguably more important today than ever before. Their mission is still the same — to provide free access to information to all people. The way people access information has changed, but they still need the information to succeed, and libraries are providing that.”

- Tony Marx, president of the New York Public Library

Do We Really Need Libraries?

Image: Researchers at the constructed-by-Carnegie 135th Street branch of the New York Public Library, 1938. (New York Public Library)