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Exhibits Round Table | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Exhibits Round Table

Historical Note:

At the 1954 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, the directors of the State Library Association Officers' Workshop drafted a petition to establish an Exhibits Round Table (ERT) (1).  The ALA Council approved the formation of the Exhibits Round Table on June 21, 1954 (2).

ERT's original purpose was to "maintain good relationships between the library associations and exhibitors" (3).  Since 1954 ERT's role has been expanded to:

1.  Act as a communication interface between exhibitors and the ALA

2.  Serve as a clearinghouse for information on all state and regional library association conferences using commerical exhibits

3.  Maintain an up-to-date exhibits procedure manual

4.  Set up standards for convention exhibit procedures covering booth rental, space assignments, and exhibit hours (4).

ERT is governed by a board consisting of exhibitors and librarians and is headed by the ERT President who is appointed by the ALA President (5).  Other ERT officers include two vice-presidents and a secretary (6).  ERT operates through standing committees concerned with awards, membership, and standards (7).

ERT sponsors two annual awards.  The Donald W. Kohlstedt Exhibit Award was established in 1972.  Formerly known as the Melvil Dewey Exhibit Award, it consists of citations and plaques recognizing outstanding booth displays at the ALA annual convention (8).  The John R. Rowe Memorial Award, established in 1965, grants $500 to an individual or group to aid or improve the operation of a professional library association.  It is awarded on the basis of need (9).  Both awards are announced at the annual ERT Banquet held at the ALA annual convention (10).

Round table was dissolved in September 2021.

Sources: 1.  ALA Council, Minutes, First Council Session, 73rd ALA Conference, June 21, 1954, Library Journal 79 (14), August 1954, p. 8. 2.  Ibid., p. 1345. 3.  Ibid., p. 9. 4.  ALA Handbook of Organization, 1982-83, p. 141. 5.  ALA Bulletin, March 1959, pp. 229-230. 6.  The ALA Yearbook 1980, p. 136. 7.  ALA Bulletin, March 1959, p. 229. 8.  The ALA Yearbook 1977, p. 45. 9.  The ALA Yearbook 1981, p. 59. 10.  The ALA Yearbook 1977, p. 45.

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