Dominic Pacyga to Headline 2016 Annual Meeting in Milwaukee


Save the date: Historian and author Dominic Pacyga is scheduled to deliver the keynote address at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Polish American Librarians Association, April 17 at the University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee’s Golda Meir Library. Librarians and their supporters interested in advancing services to patrons of Polish descent and collections related to Polish culture are invited to attend.

Dominic Pacyga is Professor of History at Columbia College in Chicago and the author of several books focusing on Chicago history, including Chicago: A Biography, published in 2009 by the University of Chicago Press. Most recently, the interviews with him in the The Fourth Partition are among the film’s most insightful. The documentary about early 20th-century Polish migration to Chicago aired on public television in 2015 to wide acclaim, and PALA has been urging its inclusion in library film collections.

“This will be our first, but hopefully not our last, conference outside Illinois,” said Leonard Kniffel, PALA Director. “The Midwest is a region loaded with Polish American history, and the University of Wisconsin is making great advances in preserving that history.

UW Library Director Ewa Barczyk, who is head of local arrangements, notes that “at little more than an hour away from Chicago, the meeting in Milwaukee offers PALA members, especially those who have never experienced the city’s Polish heritage, a unique opportunity to network with other librarians and with a whole cadre of leaders in the profession. We are hoping many will want to make a weekend—or more—out of their visit.”

“If enough people express interest, we may be able to organize a preconference tour,” Kniffel said. “We also welcome attendees from all over the country and can offer assistance with accommodations and transportation in the Chicago area.” Other activities throughout the day will include a panel discussion and a tour of the incredible Polish collection at the University of Wisconsin, he said.

This will be PALA’s sixth Annual Meeting. The previous five have given librarians an opportunity to visit and learn about the facilities and collections of the Polish Museum of America (2012 and 2013), Loyola University (2014), and Dominican University (2015).

Registration is free to PALA members; a $10 donation is requested of others. Registration will open early next year as more details are announced. Meanwhile, mark your  calendar!


For more information, email Leonard Kniffel at