Reports and Publications, 1918-1920, 1929-1935
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Brief Description: Reports and publications from and promoted by the War Services Committee, including the serials War Libraries, vol. 1, no. 1-4 (1918), and War Library Bulletin, vol. 1, no.1-9 (1917-1919), and pamphlets: Educational Plans for the American Army Abroad by Anson Phelps Stokes (1918); The ALA in Siberia: letters written by Harry Clemons, representative of the American Library Association War Service with the A.E.F. in Siberia (1919); War Service of the American Library Association (2d and 3d editions) by Theodore Wesley Koch (1918); Books at Work (1919); Books in Camp, Trench, and Hospital by Theodore Wesley Koch (reprinted from Library Journal, 1917); and books not published by WSC but supplied to servicemen in the Soldiers and Sailors Camp Libraries during WWI.
Held at:
The American Library Association Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61802
Phone: 217 333 0798
Fax: 217 244 2868
Email: ala-archives [at]
Record Series Number: 89/1/60
Created by: War Services Committee
Volume: 2.0 Cubic Feet
Acquired: 1/17/1974; 5/3/2010
More information is available at
Arrangement: Alphabetical
Biographical Note for War Services Committee :

In an April 1917 meeting between Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress, and the Secretary of War, Putnam suggested that the ALA provide books for the American Army. The President of the ALA then decided that it should assist the war effort (1).  The Louisville Conference of June 22, 1917 accepted the recommendation of the Preliminary Committee that a War Committee be appointed to study the supply of reading matter to the troops; construction, equipping and maintenance of library buildings at military garrisons; and the possibility of raising funds for that purpose (2). This mandate to study the problem was broadened by the Executive Board on August 14, 1917 with the appointment of a War Services Committee authorized to raise and distribute funds to supply books to the troops (3).

To facilitate the Committee's mandate, the Executive Board named Herbert Putnam Director General of the War Services Committee and gave him broad authority to hire staff, design and equip buildings, contract for equipment, determine lists of books to be provided, and accept or reject gift reading matter (4).

The War Services Committee ended its operations after the War. By August 21, 1919 the Committee proposed that Army and Navy librarians take over the fund for distributing books to service men, and that the service to hospitals be continued only until the Public Health Service could assume responsibility (5).  On January 3, 1920 the Executive Board took over the work of the Committee, and at its July 15-16, 1920 Meeting, the Board transferred the Library War Services Fund to the ALA Treasury, and abolished the position of Director General of the Library War Services Committee (6).  The ALA continued to provide funds for books for ex-servicemen as late as 1923 (7).

During World War II there was an attempt to revive war services.  To prepare for the possibility of war, the Executive Board authorized the President to INT a Committee on Defense Activities on October 7, 1940.  This Committee was to report directly to the Executive Board (8). On December 20, 1941 the Executive Board changed the name of the Committee to the Committee on Libraries and the War.  The mission of the Committee to the Committee on Libraries and the War.  The mission of the Committee was to disseminate information to libraries on "civilian defense and civilian moral" (9).  Subsequently the Executive Board appointed a Committee on War Information and Education, but by June 21, 1942, this Committee was dropped because the government was doing the Committee's work and it was no longer useful (10).

Subject Index
Camp Libraries
Clemons, Harry
Koch, Theodore W.
New York
Soldiers and Sailors
Stokes, Anson P.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
War Libraries
War Library Bulletin
War Service
War Service Publications
War Services Committee
World War I
Languages of Materials
English [eng]