Sad News To Share

On behalf of the Board of the Polish American Librarians Association, we are very saddened to share the news that our past President, Leonard Kniffel, passed away on March 19, 2021 of pancreatic cancer. 

We remember Leonard as very passionate about connecting Polish librarians both here and in Poland. He pursued PALA’s successful attainment of ALA Affiliate status just this past year and the recent launch of the PALA Book award for the best Polish American book. 

Born in Mt. Clemens, Michigan on August 25, 1947, Kniffel was a librarian, journalist, and author of several titles, including two memoirs, Busia: Seasons on the Farm with My Polish Grandmother and Busia: School Days on the Farm with my Polish Grandmother. He was a publishing executive for the American Library Association in Chicago, an active member of the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, executive director of the Polish American Librarians Association, and a board member of the Polish Museum of America. 

Kniffel leaves his life partner of almost 43 years, Carlon B. Walker, along with dozens of treasured cousins, as well as many friends and relatives in the U.S.A., Poland, England, and elsewhere around the world.

Obituary for Leonard J. Kniffel

Services to be announced.

Gifts in his name may be sent to the American Library Association, the Jan Karski Educational Foundation, the Polish American Librarians Association, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Polish Museum of America, Habitat for Humanity, the Hamtramck Historical Museum, Paralyzed Veterans of America, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and to St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in Chicago or St. Florian Parish in Hamtramck, Michigan.

He will be greatly missed by us.  PALA will be doing a tribute to honor Leonard’s contributions to our organization when it is safe to gather again.  

May He Rest in Peace! Cześć Jego Pamięci!

Ewa Barczyk