Author/publisher Kendall F. Svengalis was born in Gary, Indiana in 1947 to Frank Anthony and Alvida Linnea (Matheus) Svengalis. He received his B.A. in English literature (1970) and M.A. in American history (1973) from Purdue University. In 1975, he received an M.L.S. from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. He has done additional work in American history at Brown University. In 1976, he joined the staff of the Rhode Island State Law Library as Assistant Law Librarian. In 1982, he was appointed State Law Librarian. During his twenty-year tenure, he ushered in an unprecedented era of growth and expansion in state law library collections and services. The innovative techniques he pioneered in bringing law library costs under control have served as a model for law libraries across the country.
Ken’s very successful non-fiction history book about his hometown:
Gary, Indiana: A Centennial Celebration
was a labor of love. This nostalgic, 455-page, over-sized coffee table book contains twenty chapters, each detailing an aspect of Gary's rich history and its neighborhoods. Printed in full-color, this lavish pictorial history uses over 650 rare archival photographic and postcard images, maps, aerial photographs, and illustrations, many never before appearing in print. The book concludes with a fascinating case study of the Ken's Lithuanian pioneer family, whose saga led them from the Suvalkai province of western Lithuania to Gary in 1908.
In 1996, the first edition of his Legal Information Buyer’s Guide & Reference Manual was published by
Rhode Island LawPress (now New England LawPress),
the company he founded in 1995. In 1998, the Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and Reference Manual received the Joseph L. Andrews Bibliographical Award, the highest honor bestowed by the American Association of Law Libraries on works of legal bibliography. In 1999, he received the Connie E. Bolden Significant Publications Award from the State, Court, and County Law Libraries Special Interest Section of AALL for publishing three successive editions of the Legal Information Buyer’s Guide and for aiding “law librarians nationwide in their pursuit of a cost effective and efficient avenue to collection development.” Since that time, the Legal Information Buyer’s Guide & Reference Manual has become a standard reference work and acquisitions tool in law libraries and law firms across the country and is in its 20th edition.
Kendall's wife, Ellen, is a Stratford native and resided there for 47 years. She is of Swedish descent, while Ken is of Swedish and Lithuanian descent.
They live in the rolling hills of Connecticut and spend their leisure time as a vocal and instrumental duo performing Swedish folk music at Swedish and Scandinavian folk festivals in the Northeast. In 2005, they were featured soloists on a 17-day American Union of Swedish Singers’ chorus tour of Sweden. Ken is also President of the Rhode Island Swedish Heritage Association, an organization dedicated to preserving the history of Swedes in Rhode Island and southern New England. He is also Vice-President of the Jussi Björling Society-USA, which honors the career and legacy of the 20th century’s greatest operatic tenor. Ken has two children: Hillary and Andrew.