Request for Speakers: Unpacking Access (Library History Round Table)

Call for Submissions to 2022 ALA LHRT Research Forum: Unpacking Access 

The Library History Round Table (LHRT) of the American Library Association (ALA) seeks proposals for its annual Research Forum, to be held in advance of the 2023 ALA Annual Meeting. 

To accommodate as many LHRT members as possible, the 2023 LHRT Research Forum will be held virtually on a date to be determined in mid-to-late June 2023.

The theme of the Forum is “Unpacking Access.” The Forum will examine the histories of library practices and policies around user access to facilities and collections.  Each speaker will be asked to present for approximately 20 minutes, with a 10-minute Q&A to follow.

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to, histories of: 

  • Interlibrary loan and resource sharing; 
  • Public domain and open access materials; 
  • Circulation policies; 
  • Use of library facilities by community members; 
  • Library responses to book challenges from patrons and censorship by the state; 
  • Patron use of special collections and rare books; 
  • Relations between public services and technical services staff regarding issues of acquisitions, cataloging, and processing of materials; 
  • Subscriptions to and use of vendor-owned licensed databases in libraries; 
  • The question of “access vs. ownership” in collection development;
  • Other explorations of access 

LHRT welcomes submissions from researchers of all backgrounds, including library students, practitioners, faculty, independent researchers, and those retired from the field. LHRT especially encourages submissions from early-career researchers.  

Each proposal must give the paper title, an abstract (up to 500 words), and the presenter’s one-page vita. Please indicate in the abstract whether the research is in-progress or completed. 

The LHRT Research Committee will select up to three authors to present their completed work at the Forum. Proposals are due January 31; successful proposals will be notified shortly thereafter. Completed papers are due May 31

Please submit proposals and direct inquiries to Steve Knowlton, LHRT Vice Chair/Research Committee Chair, at

Research Committee Members: 

Alea Henle 

Jennifer Bartlett 

Catherine Minter 

Stacy Hisle 

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