Two LSU Librarians Uncover World War II History in Louisiana


Photo of Hayley Johnson

Hayley Johnson

Photo of Sarah Simms

Sarah Simms

Baton Rouge, LA - Hayley Johnson, head of government documents at LSU and School of Library & Information Science alumna, and Sarah Simms, undergraduate and student success librarian at LSU, recently spoke at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference to present their research, “The Accidental Researcher: a Case Study in Librarian-led Historical Research and Social Justice”. The presentation detailed how the two academic librarians came to discover World War II internment camps in Louisiana.

It all started with a 2016 newspaper article on letters from interned World War II-era Japanese American children. Their research connected them with families who had loved ones at Camp Livingston, an internment camp located near Rapides Parish. Their search eventually led them to the National Archives and the Library of Congress where they were able to finally put faces to the names they had found. Johnson and Simms discovered a single photo of the interned at Camp Livingston.

This revelation gave them the push they needed. Johnson and Simms transcribed names from camp rosters into excel spreadsheets and tracked their journeys using genealogy websites. The two librarians say this page from history still speaks to social justice and civil rights issues today. Through their research they hope to continue to establish a human connection and tell powerful stories.


To read more visit American Libraries Magazine. 


About SLIS

The School of Library & Information Science (SLIS) provides a 100% online education in library and information science. SLIS offers an undergraduate minor and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in library science, an ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science, and Graduate Certificates in Archival Studies, Records & Information Management, and School Librarianship. SLIS is part of the College of Human Sciences & Education.  

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About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

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