map expands California historical perspective in local
a letter to library directors accompanying the
California Labor History map, State Librarian, Dr. Kevin
California Labor History map gives libraries the
opportunity to bring local elected officials and labor
representative together around a theme of local, as well
as statewide, importance. The California State Library
has been honored to be involved in this important
undertaking, which I hope is of value to your community.
the California State Library distributed the labor map
to California’s public libraries, many California
library patrons have become interested in the state’s
turbulent labor history. Some libraries, such as Contra
Costa city library, have mounted exhibits showcasing the
map and labor history books from their collections.
the labor map evolved
2002, the Speaker of the California Assembly, Herb J.
Wesson, Jr., and members of the Speaker’s Commission
on Labor Education, asked the California State Library
to assess, compile, and organize historical and
contemporary events relating to California labor history
for a printed California labor history map. Since the
large number of events could not all fit on a printed
map, a more expansive website was also created, in
partnership with San Francisco State University.
history is key to understanding business practices and
economic progress, community and social development in
California. The Speaker’s Commission on Labor
Education intended for the map to increase public access
to, and awareness about, these social issues as well as
the crucial events that have affected working peoples’
lives in California’s contentious history.
Dan Cornford of San Jose State University was historian
on the project, along with David Fuller, cartographer,
Rory Litwin, librarian, and Dr. Charlene Wear Simmons,
project manager. A distinguished Advisory Committee of
librarians, historians and members of the Speaker’s
Commission on Labor Education assisted the team.
the labor map is now
addition to being available in California public
libraries, the California Labor History Map is currently
being showcased in an exhibit in the second floor
rotunda of the State Capitol. Speaker Wesson, Dr. Starr
and Tom Rankin of the California Labor Federation spoke
at the opening of the exhibit before Labor Day 2003.Many
of the hundreds of visitors to the Capitol actively
review the map and associated historical materials in
text and panels for the exhibit may be viewed on the
California Labor History Map website (see the link
above). The California State Library is working with the
California Exhibit Resource Alliance to enable the
exhibit to travel to libraries around the state over the
next two or three years. If you are interested in having
the exhibit visit your library, please contact Robert
Daseler in Library Development Services at 916 firstname.lastname@example.org.