Literary Treasures: Opening of Young Readers Center (2009) and Launch of Saturday Hours (2017)

The following post is part of our monthly series, “Literary Treasures,” which highlights audio and video recordings drawn from the Library’s extensive online collections, including the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. By showcasing the works and thoughts of some of the greatest poets and writers from the past 75 years, the series advances the Library’s mission to “further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.”

On October 23, 2009, the Library celebrated the opening of its Young Readers Center (Room LJ G29, Thomas Jefferson Building), which became the first dedicated center for young readers in the Library’s history. As part of the opening ceremonies former Librarian of Congress James H. Billington welcomed a group of young people, parents, and others to the Young Readers Center. Assisting with the opening were Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and her three children; Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and his son; and children and teen author M.T. Anderson. You can view a video of the opening ceremonies below:

Among the video highlights are Dr. Billington reading his favorite children’s book, Tove Jansson’s The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My, and Rep. Wasserman Schultz and her daughters reading one of their favorites, Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious. M.T. Anderson rounded out the event with a captivating personal story about “the way that libraries are . . . a way for us to travel through time.”

I wanted to feature the Young Readers Center in this month’s post because this past Saturday the Center, in response to popular demand, officially launched regular Saturday hours (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m) for readers.

To mark the occasion, the Young Readers Center, with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, hosted an all-day series of events on Saturday. Here is a video of the first 60 minutes of the events, which was streamed live on YouTube:

After opening remarks by Dr. Hayden, author Meg Medina readin English and Spanishfrom her book Mango, Abuela, and Me. She then participated in a Q&A session with Dr. Hayden, fielding questions from young readers watching the events in person and from four public libraries in Orlando, Florida; Princeton, New Jersey; Columbia, South Carolina; and New York City, New York. Among my favorite questions for Dr. Hayden came from a nine-year-old reader named Emily from the Orange County Library System in Orlando: “What does a librarian do?” For Meg Medina, a very young reader at the event asked: “Why did you decide to do the book in Spanish?” The video concludes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and closing remarks by Young Readers Center Teen Board representatives Jacqueline Lassey and Edward Tolson, both from the Richard Wright Public Charter School.

Interested in learning more about the Young Readers Center and what it has to offer you and your family? Take a look at the Young Readers Center website.

New Online: The Walt Whitman Papers in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection

The following cross-post was written by Barbara Bair, historian in the Library’s Manuscript Division. It originally appeared on the Library of Congress Blog. As a special collections repository, the Library of Congress holds the largest collection of Walt Whitman materials anywhere in the world. The Manuscript Division has already made available online the Thomas Biggs […]

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The following guest post is by Anastasia Nikolis, a graduate student intern in the Poetry and Literature Center and a PhD candidate in the English department at the University of Rochester. William Carlos Williams, a famous modernist poet from the first half of the 20th century, said that a poem is “a machine made out […]

Et Tu, Congress?

The following is a guest post by Abby Yochelson, English and American Literature reference specialist at the Library of Congress’s Main Reading Room, Humanities and Social Sciences Division. This is the fourth in a small series of blog posts on Shakespeare at the Library of Congress. Several years ago I overheard the following conversation between […]

Poet Laureate Visits Library’s Asian Division

The following is a guest post by Kelly Yuzawa, who works within the Congressional Research Service (CRS) of the Library of Congress (and was previously a staff detail here in the Poetry and Literature Center!). During a visit to the Library at the end of October, Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera stopped by the Library of […]