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American Library Association War Service records
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Photographs, postcards, blueprints, insignia, and reports, relating to the work of the American Library Association War Service in providing library buildings, books, and librarians, for American military servicemen in the United States and overseas during World War I.
In June 1917, shortly after the United States entered into World War I, the American Library Association (ALA) convened a War Service Committee to distribute library materials to American soldiers. This committee oversaw what was to become known as the Library War Service program. Under the leadership of Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam, the program effectively demonstrated the importance of ALA membership, while at the same time showing the value of collaboration with other military and welfare agencies, such as the YMCA, YWCA, and the Red Cross. Moreover, it successfully raised more than five million dollars in public donations, as well as securing Carnegie Corporation funds. With these funds and donations, the Library War Service program established thirty-six camp libraries, distributed approximately ten million books and magazines, and sponsored 1,100 library workers for the war effort.
1 manuscript box, 33 envelopes (3.7 Linear Feet)
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The collection is open for research; materials must be requested in advance via our reservation system. If there are audiovisual or digital media material in the collection, they must be reformatted before providing access.