Historical Perspectives SIG Session at ALISE 2014

January 15, 2014 Leave a comment

SIG Title: Hidden Connections: Surfacing History in the Book Trade, LIS Education, and
Library of Congress Collections

Session Day and Time: Wednesday 8:30 am to 10:00 am

This year the Historical Perspectives SIG is co-convened by C. Sean Burns and Ellen Pozzi.

One of the great strengths of historical research is the ability to unveil non­-obvious connections with our past. Although this panel is composed of three disparate topics pertaining to the book trade, library and information science education, and obscenity and surveillance, all
three topics exemplify this particular strength.

In “Publishers and Price Fixing in Historical Perspective,” Dr. Trudi Abel of the Digital Durham Project argues that the 2013 battle between the United States and Apple, Inc. over a conspiracy to set ebook prices is remarkably similar to an early 20th­century legal challenge in the U.S. Supreme Court over the legitimacy of publishers fixing the prices of copyrighted works. Her argument analyzes Straus v. American Publishers’ Association and U.S. v. Apple, Inc. et al and sheds light on the cultural significance of the price fixing strategies.

In “Shedding Light on the Historical Record: Libraries in Time and Place,” Dr. Jenny Bossaller, from the University of Missouri, will describe the evolution of using and incorporating library history stories in an undergraduate program, a Master’s ALA accredited program, and a doctoral program. Her presentation will focus on the types of histories her students have conducted and the kinds of interdisciplinary content they have used in their research. Furthermore, she will discuss the use of incorporating library history in a variety of LIS courses.

In “The Keeper of the Collections: Regulating Obscenity at the Library of Congress during the Postwar Era,” Dr. Melissa Adler, from the University of Kentucky, will highlight the Library of Congress’ Delta Collection, which was a sample of all the material “seized by the Customs Bureau and the Postal Service,” that was “composed of erotica and items considered to be pornographic or obscene,” and that intended for use as “evidence during the McCarthy era.” Dr. Adler will provide evidence of “an untold piece of the history of sexuality in the U.S. through the lens of the Library of Congress policies and practices.”

Visit http://www.alise.org/ for more information about this and other sessions.

Call for Papers — 2014 ALISE

ALISE 2014, Philadelphia, PA.
Historical Perspectives Special Interest Group CFP
Conference Theme: Educational Entrepreneurship

Call for Paper or Panel Presentation — DEADLINE: July 8, 2013

In keeping with the 2014 ALISE Conference Theme, “Educational Entrepreneurship,” the Historical Perspectives SIG invites submissions for individual papers, or for a 3+ person panel program that highlights the history of educational entrepreneurship in LIS (interpreted broadly). This session offers an opportunity to reveal previously unknown historical instances of times when the field has experimented with educational practice or discussed and entertained various educational theories.

If you have something in mind that is not related to the conference theme, we invite you to propose different topics. This call is open to anyone working in the field of library and information science, regardless of occupational label.

In order to make the July 15th ALISE SIG deadline submission, submit 300 – 500 word abstracts in PDF, ODT, or DOCX format by July 8, 2011, to C. Sean Burns, sean.burns@uky.edu and to Ellen Pozzi, pozzie@wpunj.edu.

If proposing a panel, please also include a brief statement about each presenter.

Thank you,
C. Sean Burns & Ellen Pozzi

Historical Perspectives SIG Program at ALISE 2013

November 17, 2012 Leave a comment

Session Title: Questioning the Past: Finding, Presenting, & Using the Beautiful Answers of Historical Inquiry


Session Day and Time: Thursday 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm.

This year the Historical Perspectives SIG is co-convened by Ellen Pozzi and Sean Burns, who are very delighted to have as panelists Drs. Charles Seavey, Jean Preer, and Sharon McQueen.  Our three panelists will discuss some important topics concerning the practice, theory, and relevance of historical methodology in library and information science.

Final Abstract:
For those who want to explore LIS history, but aren’t sure where to start, this panel will provide inspiration. Three diverse LIS historians, Charles A. Seavey, Jean Preer, and Sharon McQueen, will explore the makings of the beautiful questions in library and information history and the presentation and use of the beautiful answers.

Charles Seavey

“Finding the Beautiful Question”

Historical research is not like social science research. While they both involve framing the research question, finding good source material, and reporting findings, historical research has its own assumptions, its own methodologies, and its own way of inquiry.

To help frame historical research within a LIS perspective, Charles Seavey will speak to what it means to do history and will take a close look at the considerations involved, including how to select topics for historical inquiry. He will also address questions about narrative, such as is the story itself compelling, and questions about motivation, such as is there an underlying purpose (e.g., relevance to a current issue or event) on the part of the investigator? Dr. Seavey will also discuss where to find the questions and will speak to the differences between primary evidence and secondary evidence. The story as told in secondary sources (published articles, proceedings, newspaper stories) is sometimes very different from the story that is hidden in archival sources. Examples will be examined.

Jean L. Preer (Indiana University)

“Using the Beautiful Answer”

What is historical inquiry and how is it relevant? For Dr. Preer, history is the cultural capital of a community, institution, or profession, and this is no different for library and information science. Indeed, as libraries continue to assume a greater role as agents of community connection, history can be a tool to foster community identity, enhance public and private support, and provide a basis for future planning. In light of this, Dr. Preer will help show how history can support various purposes.

Sharon McQueen (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

“Presenting the Beautiful Answer”

Like all scholarly research, communication is a fundamental part of sharing and building upon our knowledge. While qualitative and quantitative research presentations often follow fairly standard templates, presenting historical research is different because it involves telling a compelling story using rich, illustrative, and descriptive narration based on a variety of source material. How do you tell such stories? How do you present them to an audience? Dr. McQueen will share her presentation techniques, both performance and technology, that can make historical research compelling and dynamic for audiences of all types. Attendees will learn how to best make use of images, media (e.g. recorded oral interviews, music, and film), presentation technology, and their own talent. Whether you are presenting for a scholarly conference, in the classroom, or for your local historical society, leave the room knowing your audience is as excited about your research as you are!

Historical Perspectives SIG Program at ALISE 2012

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Don’t miss this year’s panel at ALISE!

Expanding the Reach of Youth Services: An Historical Perspective

Thursday 8:30 am to 10am in Lone Star III (4th Fl)


Sharon McQueen: May Massee: Expanding the Horizons of Children’s Librarianship, Literary Criticism, and Publishing

Paulette Rothbauer: Specialized Space and Services for the Teen-Age at the Toronto Public Library, 1930-1965: The Kipling Room and the Legacy of Annie Wright

Cindy Welch: “Imaging” Young Adults: We Blinded Them with Science!


Early public libraries were not always eager to welcome children, fearing they would disturb the adult patrons, but youth service librarians turned the challenge of ‘disruptive’ children in the library into an opportunity to reach out to children and young adults.  Pioneering youth service librarians established new spaces and new programs for these young patrons, and sought to increase their expertise through interaction with other fields such as psychology, literary criticism and book publishing.  This panel will present three historical examples of expanding horizons in youth services. Cindy Welch will consider how psychology and its offshoot, youth development, helped shape and define YA library services. Sharon will explore the life of May Massee, an innovator in children’s librarianship, literary criticism and publishing.  Paulette Rothbauer will introduce us to pioneering Canadian young adult library services with an examination of Annie Wright and the Kipling Room in the Toronto Public Library. This panel will enrich our understanding of how youth service librarians created opportunities within the public library for children, and how they reached across disciplinary boundaries to both understand their patrons and provide better services and material for them. This panel will also encourage discussions of the history of librarianship to better understand current issues within the field that students will encounter as they begin their careers.

ALSO: Our Business Meeting is open to all! Come and help up plan for the next year. The meeting is Friday morning at 7:30  in Grand Ballroom Section A on the 3rd floor. [If you are interested in the position of convener or co-convener, contact me at epozzi@eden.rutgers.edu.]

Call for Papers

ALISE 2012, Dallas, Texas
Conference Theme: Extending Our Reach: Expanding Horizons, Creating Opportunities
Historical Perspectives Special Interest Group

Call for Paper or Panel Presentation – DEADLINE: JULY 22, 2011

In keeping with the 2011 ALISE Conference Theme, “Extending our Reach: Expanding Horizons, Creating Opportunities” the Historical Perspectives SIG invites submissions for an individual paper, or for a 3-4 person panel program that highlights the history of new opportunities and connections in the field of LIS (interpreted broadly.) This session offers an opportunity to reveal previously unknown historical instances of times when the field has extended its reach; or to revisit or reexamine those we think we already understand.

Just to get your juices flowing, we invite you think about these topics:

  • How have libraries and librarians reached out to new populations?
  • When did major innovations create new opportunities in LIS? How did our field react to these innovations?
  • Who are the major historical “connectors” of our profession? Who has reached across boundaries in innovative ways?
  • How did we expand our professional horizons in the past? How did this impact our work as educators, practitioners and researchers?
  • How has globalization changed our field? What international connections have been made in the past?
  • Was there a time when reaching out was discouraged? What changed this?
  • What challenges have become opportunities in the library field? For example Youth Services librarians turned the ‘challenge’ of children disrupting the library into an opportunity to reach out to them in a new way.
  • How did interaction with new disciplines affect our field?
  • What new opportunities for connectedness have occurred in the history of the field? For example, how did the formation of ALA affect the ability of librarians to connect with each other? With outsiders?

If you have something in mind that is not listed here, we invite you to propose different topics related to the conference theme. This call is open to anyone working in the field of library and information science, regardless of occupational label.

Submit 300-500 word abstracts in PDF or WORD format by July 22, 2011, to Ellen Pozzi, Rutgers University, epozzi@eden.rutgers.edu. If proposing a panel, please also include a brief statement about each presenter and their connection to the content. Questions? Email or call me at 908-625-8437.


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