About the blogger

LEONARD KNIFFEL is the author of A Polish Son in the Motherland: An American’s Journey Home (Texas A&M University Press, 2005). He is currently President of the all-volunteer Polish American Librarians Association and a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish Musuem of America in Chicago. He was editor and publisher of American Libraries, the magazine of the American Library Association, until 2011, and creator and publisher of @ your library, the American Library Association’s former public awareness website, which was funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and supported by Disney Book Group and the ALA’s “Library Champions.”  His most recent book is a memoir titled Busia: Seasons on the Farm with My Polish Grandmother (2017). His other books are Reading with the Stars: A Celebration of Books and Libraries (ALA Editions/Skyhorse Publishing, 2011) and Musicals on the Silver Screen: A Guide to the Must-See Movie Musicals (Huron Street Press, 2013). He is at work on a second travel memoir about Poland and France, a second edition of Musicals on the Silver Screen.

This website is a personal investigation of the Polish-American experience, emphasizing the extraordinary resources available in and through the libraries and archives of the United States of America and around the world. The author’s objective is to deepen the understanding–especially among Polish-Americans–of the unique role of Poland and its people in history and contemporary society.

What inspired this endeavor? “I was raised by my Polish grandmother on a farm in Michigan, yet I never learned much of anything about what it means to be a Polish-American until I was middle-aged. The humiliation and mistreatment she and countless other immigrants endured in this land of plenty is clearer to me now, yet she was the kindest and most affable person I have ever known. It is in her memory and in memory of my beloved mother that I dedicate my documentation of the Polish-American experience.” For Helena Bryszkiewska Misiuk Brodacka and Lucy Helen Brodacki Kniffel.

Leonard Kniffel is a member of the Board of Directors of the Polish Museum of America in Chicago, where Busia can be purchased with sales to benefit the museum.