Cheryl Knott Honored with Two Book Awards


Cheryl Knott has won both the Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award and the Lillian Smith Book Award for her book Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow. Congratulations Cheryl Knott! 

In the award letter, the  Gleason Award Committee wrote: "The Gleason Award Committee was impressed with the caliber of this year’s nominees. In Not Free, Not for All, Cheryl Knott delivers an illuminating account of the development and demise of separate public libraries for African Americans in the South during the era of segregation. She uses institutional records, contemporaneous secondary documents, primary sources and scholarly work in the fields of print culture and civil rights history to tell a complex story of goodwill and hostility between blacks and whites who valued libraries during the turbulent era of Jim Crow."

The Eliza Atkins Gleason Book Award is presented by the Library History Round Table of the American Library Association every third year to recognize the best book written in English in the field of library history. The award bears the name of Eliza Atkins Gleason, the first African American to receive a Ph.D. in Library Science, from University of Chicago in 1940. Her book, The Southern Negro and the Public Library, traced the history of library service to African Americans up to that time and laid the foundation for all subsequent scholarship on that aspect of library history.

The Lillian Smith Book Awards are sponsored by the Southern Regional Council, University of Georgia Libraries, DeKalb County Public Library/Georgia Center for the Book and Piedmont College.

Cheryl Knott is associate professor in the School of Information at the University of Arizona, Tucson. 

Not Free, Not for All: Public Libraries in the Age of Jim Crow is a volume in the series Studies in Print Culture and the History of the Book. For more information about this award-winning series, please see