Archive for October, 2014
Today marks the 138th anniversary of the founding of the American Library Association. The founding took place on October 6, 1876 at a conference of librarians at the Pennsylvania Historical Society in Philadelphia. The events leading up to the conference are documented in the book Raking The Historic Coals, The A.L.A. Scrapbook of 1876 by Edward G. Holley (Beta Phi Mu, 1967). Although Melvil Dewey received much of the credit for the call for the conference, others including Richard Rodgers Bowker and Frederick Leypoldt played important roles. Of the 103 people who attended the conference 90 were men and 13 were women. At the end of the conference attendees who wanted to form the new association signed a register. Melvil Dewey signed as "Number one". By the end of 1876, 43 individuals had joined the association. On the evening of October 6 there was a social reception. A replica of the invitation to that affair is shown above. This anniversary of the founding of ALA highlights the fact that in two years, it will celebrate its 140th anniversary, an occasion worthy of celebration. In 2026, only twelve years away, ALA will celebrate its 150th anniversary, a major milestone for any organization.
As a Museum Studies Graduate student I was happy to take on an exhibit project when asked by my boss here at Gleeson. It would be a great opportunity to practice my curatorial skills.
The exhibit, titled “Beyond the Mask: Beauty Revealed,” is the result of GLIDE’s Women’s Center workshop led by poet, GLIDE co-founder, and USF’s Diversity Scholar & Visiting Professor Janice Mirikitani. The workshop was an exercise in self-reflection, encouraging women to write a poem about how they see themselves. These twelve courageous women also wrote poems about how they see one another. The juxtaposition of the poems reveal the power of the word; these women do not write about themselves as victims of domestic violence but as survivors who have transformed their lives, inspiring us to persevere.
Be sure to hear Mirikitani speak at Diversity Talks: The Power of Human Connection on October 7th.
The exhibit is on display in the north stairwell between the first and second floors of Gleeson Library.