Library in the News: January 2016 Edition

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.

Yang was also featured in stories on CCTV and Washington Post KidsPost.

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.

Trending: African American History Month

(The following article by Audrey Fischer is from the January/February 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) One man’s dedication to a field of study inspired the moniker “the father of African American history.” With this year’s theme of “Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African […]

Pic of the Week: A Party of Pulitzers

Thirteen Pulitzer Prize winners visited the Library last week while in Washington for festivities celebrating the esteemed award. Steve Benson, who won the prize for editorial cartooning in 1993; former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove (poetry, 1987); Jennifer Egan (fiction, 2011); Paul Giblin (local reporting, 2009); Joan Hedrick (biography, 1995); David Levering Lewis (biography, 1994 and 2001); Jeffrey Marx (investigative reporting, 1986); Philip Schultz […]

Pic of the Week: Willie Nelson on PBS Tonight!

Make sure to tune in to PBS tonight for the star-studded concert tribute to Willie Nelson, the 2015 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. The concert airs on PBS stations nationwide at 9 p.m. ET on (check local listings). The program also will be broadcast at a later date via the American […]

Pic of the Week: Gene Luen Yang

During a special ceremony yesterday, the Library welcomed comic book author and graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang as the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The National Ambassador is selected for his or her contributions to young people’s literature, the ability to relate to kids and teens, and a dedication to fostering children’s literacy as a whole. The […]

From Russia With Love: Illustrated Children’s Books in Hebrew

(The following is a post by Ann Brener, Hebraic area specialist in the Library’s African and Middle Eastern Division.) Imagine that some brightly plumed bird-of-paradise has flown in amongst your backyard warblers, and you’ll probably know how I felt upon discovering a beautifully illustrated book in the vaults of the Library of Congress. Nestled between […]

Library in the News: November 2015 Edition

Willie Nelson was the talk of the town as the Library celebrated his work and career during a concert in November, as he received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. “When Willie took the stage to accept the Gershwin prize, you could see the pride on his face,” wrote Brendan Kownacki for Hollywood on the […]

Library Bestows Gershwin Prize on Willie Nelson

(The following story was written by Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Whenever Willie Nelson’s bus rolls into town, actor and host Don Johnson said, you know you’re in for a good time, a big party. Wednesday night at DAR Constitution Hall was no exception. The Library of Congress […]

Opening Day … For the Library

Until 1897, the Library of Congress was housed in the U.S. Capitol Building itself. Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford (1864–97) was the first to propose that the Library be moved to a dedicated building. He also was instrumental in establishing the copyright law of 1870, which placed the Copyright Office in the Library and […]