January was a month filled with awards and honors.
The Library welcomed Gene Luen Yang as the fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Michael Cavna of The Washington Post covered the inauguration ceremony and wrote, “Yang — a charismatic, high-energy speaker — was able to present himself dually as both authentically dimensional scholar and simplified cartoon character. This touch was brilliant, because not only did Yang offer a humbly nerdy avatar that the grade-schoolers could instantly warm up to, and perhaps some even identify with; he also was displaying the very strength that most distinguishes him as an ambassador: the ability to connect through the magical marriage of words and pictures.”
“In reflecting on his new role as ambassador, Mr. Yang said he found his wife, Theresa, a development director for an elementary school, a tremendous resource. He said that he was inspired by her program for encouraging students to read and write in different genres and that she was enthusiastic about the ambassadorship,” said George Gene Gustines for the New York Times.
“Does anyone say no to this? It’s an amazing opportunity,” Yang told Sue Corbett of Publishers Weekly.
Yang was featured on the Kojo Nnamdi
Nnamdai Show website in an interview discussing his role, Asian-American identity and comic book culture.
Kelly McEvers of NPR spoke with Yang about becoming the first graphic novelist to be named ambassador.
The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize concert honoring Willie Nelson aired nationwide on PBS in January. Many outlets not only reported on the broadcast but also on Nelson’s Gershwin-inspired album that drops in February.
Speaking of prizes, winners of the 2015 Holland Prize for architectural drawing were announced in January. The Smithsonian Magazine and Fine Books & Collections Magazine highlighted the winners, who were actually only honorable mentions.