Penn State librarian wins ALA honors for article on library history

June 29, 2012

Bernadette Lear, behavioral sciences and education librarian at Penn State Harrisburg, is this year's winner of the Donald G. Davis Article Award presented by the American Library Association (ALA) Library History Round Table (LHRT). This award is given to recognize the best article written in English in the field of United States and Canadian library history, including the history of libraries, librarianship and book culture in the previous two calendar years.

Lear’s winning article, "Yankee librarian in the Diamond City: Hannah Packard James, the Osterhout Free Library of Wilkes-Barre, and the public library movement in Pennsylvania," was published in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies, 78, 124-162.

The committee cited "Lears's exceptional use of a variety of primary sources, her attention to Hannah James's personality and personal life as part of the context of her work as a librarian, and the attention to a conservative librarian during the Progressive Era," said Holly Willett, chair of the Library History Round Table Davis Award Committee. "We believe the article opens the way for a closer examination of that era as a contested space."

The Davis Article Award Committee for 2012 consisted of Dominique Daniel, assistant professor and information literacy and reference librarian at Oakland University in Rochester, MI; Ellen Pozzi, lecturer and doctoral student, School of Communication and Information, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J.; and Holly Willett, associate professor and director of the Schaub Instructional Materials Center, Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J.

The award honors Donald G. Davis, emeritus professor at the School of Information at the University of Texas and editor of Libraries & the Cultural Record and its forerunner. A major contributor to the field, Davis has authored numerous historical articles, advised many notable Ph.D. dissertations, compiled important bibliographies, and edited both the "Encyclopedia of Library History" (with Wayne Wiegand) and the "Dictionary of American Library Biography Second Supplement."

Lear can be contacted at 717-948-6360.

Last Updated July 02, 2012