Bernadette A. Lear, M.L.S.

Librarian, Library
Library Faculty Liaison, School of Behavioral Sciences and Education
Office Phone: +1 717 948 6360
Office Location: Library And Classroom, 0000
Mailing Address:

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Ms. Lear, Coordinator of Library Instruction Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian at Penn State Harrisburg, has more than two decades of experience working in libraries, including the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C. and the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore. She deeply enjoys helping people, and cites library interactions with children, formerly incarcerated persons, international students, LGBT students, military veterans, students with disabilities, and other diverse clientele as enriching her understanding of what college librarianship can be (and should be). During her career, she has served her profession in various capacities, including as Chair of the Education and Behavioral Sciences Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (2015-2016). Although Ms. Lear has wide-ranging intellectual interests, she is best known for her research on the history of libraries, which she studies as an intersection of U.S. cultural, labor, social, and women's history. With Eric Novotny, she is co-editor of the scholarly journal Libraries: Culture, History, and Society, published by Penn State Press. Ms. Lear's own projects focus on public libraries in Pennsylvania from the Civil War through World War II. Her article, "Yankee Librarian in the Diamond City: Hannah Packard James, the Osterhout Free Library, and the Public Library Movement in Pennsylvania," published in the journal Pennsylvania History in 2011, won the 2012 Davis Article Award from Library History Round Table of ALA and the 2013 Crist Prize from the Pennsylvania Historical Association. In 2009-2010 and 2013-2014, Mrs. Lear was Chair of LHRT. From 2008 to 2017, she has also served as Chair of the Archives and History Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Other areas of interest are American Indian history and literature, which were the focus of her Master's degree in American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg.