Reading and Libraries Poster Collection

Public libraries : an American contribution to civilization : 50 years, American Library Association, 1876-1926 / E.A. Spuehler.

Ca. 1920–1960s
30 posters

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world. The organization traces its roots to a meeting held in New York City in 1853, but was not formally organized until October 6, 1876, at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The association aimed to “enable librarians to do their present work more easily and at less expense,” according to the ALA website.

Throughout ALA’s history, the organization has taken a proactive approach to library issues and has used graphic media to reach the public. In the early twentieth century, ALA used poster art, not only to encourage reading and support of libraries, but to encourage the war effort during World War I and II.

In addition to the posters produced by the ALA, this collection also contains posters promoting reading with colorful graphics with no known publisher. The posters have been cataloged and digitized and can be viewed through the Library’s catalog.

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