Call for Papers

Library History and Library Historians During COVID-19: Reports from the Field

Libraries: Culture, History, and Society ( and LHRT News and Notes ( unite and provide writing opportunities for a global community of scholars, practitioners, students, and retirees interested in library history. As we all near the one-year anniversary of remote teaching, service disruption, and quarantine brought on by COVID-19, the editors invite your reflections on how the pandemic has affected our discipline and how it has changed members of the library history community as human beings. For the Fall 2021 (volume 5, number 2) issue of LCHS, and for the 2021 cycle of News and Notes, we will publish brief, personal essays from our readers describing and reflecting upon their experiences of the past year. 

Essays should be 500-3,000 words (roughly 2-7 pages, 12-point font, double-spaced) and written in the first-person point of view. Citations/endnotes are not required unless there are quotations. Please send your submission by Friday, April 20th, 2021 to . All submissions will be editorially reviewed. Up to six essays will be selected for publication in LCHS; others may be forwarded to News and Notes.

While COVID-19 has touched virtually everyone, it has done so in very different ways. Many of us are still living through the pandemic. Some have made sense of everything we’ve seen, heard, done, or felt; others have not. Thus the editors welcome submissions that describe positive, negative, mixed, and ongoing experiences. Essays may take either professional or personal points of view (or both) and may be certain or uncertain in their conclusions. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: 

*How the pandemic has affected your research plans

*Use of digitized collections for library history research

*New projects or lines of research prompted by the pandemic

*Challenges and opportunities of professional networking

*Using archives and rare materials during quarantine

*Efforts to document closures, curbside service, and libraries’ other historic experiences 

*Personal challenges, such as social isolation or work-life balance

*Gender, race, class, and other perspectives on being a historian, researcher, or librarian during COVID 

*Pandemic-related stories that point to larger truths

*Lessons learned and insights gained from the pandemic

*Post-COVID plans and hopes

For questions, please contact the LCHS editors, Bernadette A. Lear ( and Eric C. Novotny (, or News and Notes editor Brett Spencer ( 

Looking forward to your submissions!

Bernadette A. Lear (she/her/hers/Ms.)

Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian

Co-Editor of Libraries: Culture, History, and Society

Penn State Harrisburg Library

351 Olmsted Dr., Middletown, PA 17057 – 717-948-6360

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