The War Librarian by Addison Armstrong
Having authors on the podcast is always fun, especially when their books are related to libraries (like this episode's guest, Addison Armstrong). I'm normally talking with librarians about pushing the profession forward, but I never want to get away from books, authors, and publishers, which is an ecosystem that's vital for libraries. I hope you enjoy these author episodes, and in this particular episode, I hope this also prompts you to learn more about the Library War Service.
CI225 Show Notes
In Circulating Ideas, Episode 225, I chatted with Addison Armstrong, author of The War Librarian and The Light of Luna Park, about her experiences with libraries, what she likes about writing historical fiction and dual timelines, finding story ideas in her historical research, and how her love of school supplies and ants fueled her writing life as a young girl!
The War Librarian
The Paris Library meets The Flight Girls in this captivating historical novel about the sacrifice and courage necessary to live a life of honor, inspired by the first female volunteer librarians during World War I and the first women accepted into the U.S. Naval Academy.
Two women. One secret. A truth worth fighting for.
The Light of Luna Park
In the spirit of The Orphan Train and Before We Were Yours, a historical debut about a nurse who chooses to save a baby’s life, and risks her own in the process, exploring the ties of motherhood and the little-known history of Coney Island and America’s first incubators.
A nurse’s choice. A daughter’s search for answers.
Addison Armstrong graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2020 with degrees in elementary education and language and literacy studies and received her master’s degree from Vanderbilt in Reading Education in 2021. The Light of Luna Park was her first novel. She lives with her husband in New York, New York, where she teaches elementary school.
Library War Service
A history of ALA's Library War Service, established in 1917 to provide books and library services to US soldiers and sailors at home and serving in Europe.
World War I, the Great War, was a war of attrition fought across much of Europe. This war came to a virtual standstill due to mechanization and the introduction of the machine gun. No man’s land became a common term and trench warfare became a life for soldiers who were stuck in the muck and death of those trenches. Among all the carnage and destruction, however, books provided soldiers a sense of small relief and accompanied them when the trenches seemed so lonely.
The Library War Service was established by the American Library Association in 1917 to provide library services to American soldiers training in camps and serving overseas in World War I.
During the world wars of the 20th century, librarians played a role worth remembering.
The Library War Service, formed during World War I, was the first large undertaking of the American Library Association. It launched the ALA from a small professional association to a large organization concerned with public service. Because of the enormous effort put forth by the ALA and its members to run book drives, collect donations, sends books, setup camp libraries with librarians, and the start of programs like the Library Service for the Blind, the Library War Service is a heavily studied aspect of the association.
When America entered World War I in 1917, the American Library Association decided to take part in the war effort by establishing the Library War Service.
The American Library Association’s Library War Service
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