Joyce Latham

Joyce Latham

  • Adjunct Instructor | Associate Professor, School of Information Studies

Adjunct Instructor


  • PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • MLS, University of Maryland
  • BA, Notre Dame of Maryland University (formerly College of Notre Dame of Maryland)


Latham comes to LIS education after an extended career in libraries. With a background in cataloging and technical services, she became entwined with retrospective conversion and automation projects for public libraries. She was the head of Automated Services for the Southern Maryland Regional Library and worked on the development of the statewide Sailor Project. From there she went to Chicago Public Library as the head of Information Technology. After three years at the University of Illinois studying the social influences on the development of intellectual freedom in public libraries, she went to upstate New York as a library / public library system director. With the completion of her dissertation she came to the School of Information Studies, where she specializes in public libraries, intellectual freedom and library history. Latham’s alternative perspective on the history of libraries allows her research to focus on the activist role of librarians in the development and distribution of cultures influencing American society.

Courses Taught

501 Foundation of Library and Information Science
836 Seminar in Intellectual Freedom
864 Public Libraries: Philosophy, Politics, Policy

Sample Publications

Latham, J. M. (2015). On/off our backs: The feminist press in the “sex wars” of the 1980s. In J. Danky, J. L. Baughman, & J. Ratner-Rosenhagen (Eds.) Protest on the Page, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Latham, J. M. (2014). Heat, humility and hubris: The conundrum of the Fiske report. Library Trends. (v. 63, no. 1), PP. 57-74.

“The West Bend Challenges: Open Access and Intellectual Freedom in the Twenty-First Century.” Library Trends,(V.62, No.4). Joyce M. Latham and Barbara M. Jones, Editors.

Latham, J. M. (2013). ““A liberal and dignified approach” The John Toman Branch of the Chicago Public Library and the making of Americans, 1927–1940. In, L. Robbins & C. Pawley (Eds.), Libraries and the Reading Public (pp. 111–128). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Latham, J. M. (2011). Memorial Day to Memorial Library: The South Chicago Branch Library as cultural terrain, 1937–1947. Libraries & the Cultural Record, 46(3), 321–342.

Latham, J. M. (2010). Clergy of the mind: Alvin S. Johnson, William S. Learned, the Carnegie Corporations and the American Library Association. The Library Quarterly, 83(30), 249–265. (Winner of the Justin Winsor Prize in Library History)