Alex Poole Receives Davis Award and Winsor Prize from ALA's Library History Round Table

Alex H. PooleAlex H. Poole, PhD, an associate professor of information science at Drexel’s College of Computing & Informatics (CCI), is the winner of two awards from the American Library Association’s (ALA) Library History Round Table (LHRT): the Donald G. Davis Article Award and the Justin Winsor Library History Essay Award. He is the first Drexel faculty member to receive either honor.

Poole will be recognized for his achievements at the LHRT Research Forum and Edward G. Holley Memorial Lecture on June 15 (3 p.m. to 5 p.m. ET).

Poole won the 2022 Davis Article Award for his article titled “‘Tearing the Shroud of Invisibility’: Communities of Protest Information Practices and the Fight for LGBTQ Rights in US Librarianship,” which appeared in the Oct. 2020 issue of Library Quarterly (vol. 90, no. 4).

The selection committee noted the article’s comprehensive, well-delineated, and deeply researched historical picture of LGBTQ rights — under-investigated branch of library history — as well as the multidisciplinary and multidimensional nature of its argument.

The Davis Award is presented every second year to the best published article written in English in the field of U.S. and Canadian library history. The award honors Donald G. Davis, longtime professor in the School of Information at the University of Texas, Austin, and editor of Libraries and Culture).

Poole also received the 2022 Winsor Essay Award for his paper titled “'Will the day ever come when we will be judged on our merit and not on our blackness?' The Rise of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, 1970-1975.”

The award committee praised this paper as “extremely well-researched and well-written in a highly readable style,” and specifically noted the paper’s thorough chronological documentation of the Black Caucus and its early leadership, as well as the inclusion of the work of E. J. Josey and Wayne and Shirley Wiegand. Poole was also invited to submit the essay for possible publication in the official LHRT journal Libraries: Culture, History, and Society.

“The committee members recognize this work as an invaluable resource for historians and archivists in the years to come about the rise of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association,” said the selection committee in a recent LHRT press release. “We congratulate Dr. Poole for this valuable contribution to the scholarship of library history.”

The Justin Winsor Award is named in honor of the distinguished nineteenth-century librarian, historian, and bibliographer who was also ALA’s first president. To be eligible, essays must embody original, previously-unpublished historical research on a significant topic in library history, be based on primary sources, and use good English composition and superior style.

Poole, who teaches in CCI’s ALA-accredited Library & Information Science master’s program, focuses his research on digital curation, archives and records management, digital humanities, and diversity, inclusivity, and equity. He received the 2019 ALA Jesse H. Shera Award for Distinguished Published Research, and the Dr. Bob Williams History Fund Best Paper Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology (ASIS&T) in both 2018 and 2017. He earned his PhD in information science from the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.

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