Evolution of Library of Social Science Book Exhibits, 1990-2000
Richard Koenigsberg
Please scroll down the page for photos of our early book exhibits
In several recent LSS Newsletters, I described how our Book Exhibit company was born as a direct result of my life as a scholar and author.

In “The Birth of the Library of Social Science,” I described how my first book exhibit came about—at a meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology in July 1988.

In a second Newsletter, “The Philosophy of Book Exhibits,” I described my meeting with ISPP conference organizer, Denis Snook, who laid out the philosophy that was to become the foundation of Library of Social Science Book Exhibits.

According to Snook, book exhibits should be a “service to an organization’s members, who want to know about the latest and most significant developments.” Books displayed at a meeting would provide attendees with a “comprehensive picture of the state of the art in the field.”

Snook was referring to political psychology when he said he wanted to “carve out a nice for the field” and to develop an “ongoing conversation among scholars.” But it became evident that this vision of book exhibits could be applied to many other conferences and disciplines.

In a third Newsletter, I discussed how the publication of Hitler’s Ideology led to my presentation at the 1988 ISPP meeting (the first time I’d ever spoken at an academic conference). I was teamed up with Vamik Volkan, the world’s leading political psychologist (later to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize).

In the next few issues of the Newsletter, I’ll outline the development of Library of Social Science Book Exhibits in the decade 1990-2000: how the development of my company was deeply intertwined with my life as a researcher and scholar.

We organized book exhibits for the International Society of Political Psychology in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1994. Gradually, we began developing book exhibits for conferences in other disciplines.

But even as we did more book exhibits each year, it wasn’t entirely clear that I was a businessman. Perhaps I just attended the meetings and created book exhibits in order to give me the opportunity to give presentations.

Analyzing the data, 1990-2000, it turns out that I gave 51 presentations during this period. At nearly every one of these conferences, I also organized and managed a book exhibit. I was killing two birds with one stone.

However, it’s clear that if I hadn’t developed Library of Social Science as a book exhibit business, I couldn’t have developed as a scholar by giving presentations and meeting colleagues at conferences.

Having abandoned my career as a college Professor many years before, my book exhibit company was my sole source of income. Was the dog wagging the tail, or the tail wagging the dog? Which was the dog and which the tail?

Please scroll down the page for photos of our early book exhibits.

Winter Meeting of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis, Santa Barbara, California, December 9, 1994. In the years from 1990-2000, Mei Ha Chan and I worked as a team at nearly every one of the approximately 150 book exhibits we organized. Of the many cities we saw in the course of our travels, Santa Barbara was one of the most beautiful, although—as usual—we spent nearly all our time with the books.
64th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Sociological Society, Baltimore, March 17, 1994. I’m holding the three books that I authored and published, which I sold along with books by the publishers represented by LSS. This was one of those rare occasions when we “rented a booth.” I presented a paper, “Nazism as an Immunological Fantasy.”
American Historical Society, Pacific Coast Branch, San Diego, CA; August 8, 1998. By this time, our book exhibit template had begun to jell: ten tables at a central location, with coffee breaks. In the photo, I’m checking out the set-up—just before attendees begin to arrive.
The first book exhibit that Mei Ha did on her own was at a meeting of the Society for Cross Cultural Research in St. Petersburg, Florida, February 18-22, 1998. In the photo above, I’m at the 77th Annual Meeting of the Central States Anthropological Society, Indiana University, Bloomington, April 20-23, 2000. After this meeting, my career as an onsite book exhibit manager began to wind down.