Library in the News: November 2016 Edition

Smokey Robinson made headlines as the Library celebrated his work and career during the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song celebration concert.

“Amid multiple standing ovations from an audience filled with political dignitaries at DAR Constitution Hall, the Motown star reflected on his humble Detroit roots as he accepted the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” wrote Brian McCollum for the Detroit Free Press.

Robinson had previously spoken with McCollum about the honor on the eve of the concert.

“If I’m being even mentioned in the same breath with the Gershwins — whose music is everlasting — then that’s a crowning achievement for me as a songwriter. I want to be Beethoven, man. I want to be Bach, Chopin,” he said. “Five hundred years from now, they’ll still be playing Smokey Robinson music: If possible, that’s what I want to be. So this is the first step.”

“Robinson’s songs — whether written for himself and the Miracles or other Motown artists — have soundtracked so many lives because of their emotional universality. They transcend time, space, performer and genre, and the event was programmed to illustrate that fact,” said Chris Kelly for The Washington Post.

In a special video presentation, the Post featured fans reminiscing on their favorite Smokey Robinson songs and how his music affected their lives.

“The audience sang and clapped along to “My Girl,” the night’s show closer, as a testament to Robinson’s enduring compositions,” reported Joshua Barajas for PBS NewsHour.

Other stories ran on CBS, WTOP, Billboard and Broadway World, among others.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden continued to make headlines in November.

“At different times in the library’s history, the people who have served as Librarian of Congress—scholars, librarians, lawyers—have each brought different skills,” she says. “As a librarian, I might have experiences to bring as the library faces a new part of its history, and a lot of that has to do with technology and accessibility,” Hayden told Greg Landgraf of American Libraries Magazine.

Hayden also spoke with Rebecca Sutton of NEA Arts Magazine. “I’m just discovering the depth of the collection. I think the arts community would be very pleased by the treasures here. I’m looking at photography books now: One’s a book on lighthouses; there are others on canals, dance, furniture, documentary. It’s like being in a treasure chest,” Hayden said. “It’s a beautiful place, but it has beautiful things too. Not just beautiful, but things that make you think.”

Eric Weibel, kid reporter for Scholastic, sat down with Hayden to talk about the Library and her thoughts on children’s literature and literacy.

The Librarian also spoke with Maryland Public Television. You can see the interview beginning at the 16:16 mark.

The Library’s Veterans History Project also received media coverage in November.

Michael Ruane of The Washington Post wrote a story about the project’s online presentation, “The Art of War.”

“The collection highlights the art of servicemen and women whose only canvas was the paper they might have in their pockets,” he wrote. “It captures the mundane and dreary aspects of war, as well as the dignity of its participants, and the drama of its battles.”

Several regional outlets shared stories of collecting efforts, including New Hampshire Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, The Sentinel Record and Tucson News Now.

World War I: “Trench Blues” — An African American Song of the War

(The following is a guest post written by Stephanie Hall of the American Folklife Center.) In 1934, folklorist John Lomax and his 19-year-old son Alan went to southern Louisiana to collect folksongs and music in many styles from several ethnic groups in English and French. Among the songs in the resulting collection is “Trench Blues,” a […]

Pic of the Week: Smokey Robinson

The two-day celebration of Smokey Robinson’s 50-year career—and his selection as the 2016 recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song—began in the nation’s capital with a touching trip down the keyboard of George Gershwin’s piano and ended with a rollicking concert of his greatest hits. During his visit, Robinson sat down […]

Election Day Collection Coverage

Today, American citizens gather en masse to exercise their right to vote for the nation’s next president. This particular election will certainly go down in the history books as an interesting one. However, American presidential election history is full of choice moments. This election year hasn’t been the first to see name-calling and insults. In […]

King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand (1927-2016)

The following cross-post is written by Cait Miller and originally appeared on the In the Muse blog. The following post is co-written with Musical Instruments Curator Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford. Early yesterday morning the world learned of the death of Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej, crowned in 1946 and known as the world’s longest-reigning monarch. Born in […]

New Online: Presidents, Newspapers and Mobile Apps

(The following is a guest post by William Kellum, manager in the Library’s Web Services Division.)  National Book Festival The Library’s 16th Annual National Book Festival takes place on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C., and we’ve updated our Mobile App and website with all the details. The app, available […]

Rare Book of the Month: “I am Anne Rutledge…”

(The following is a guest blog post written by Elizabeth Gettins, Library of Congress digital library specialist.) This week, we not only celebrate the birthday of author Edgar Lee Masters (Aug. 23, 1868) but also observe the untimely death of Ann Rutledge (Aug. 25, 1835), who figured in his best-known work. Masters spent his childhood […]

Curator’s Picks: Signature Sounds

(The following is from the July/August 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Matt Barton in the Library’s Motion Picture and Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division discusses some of the nation’s most iconic radio broadcasts. DATE OF INFAMY SPEECH President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a Joint […]

Library in the News: July 2016 Edition

In July, the Library of Congress was widely in the news with the U.S. Senate’s vote to confirm Carla Hayden as the 14th Librarian of Congress. She will be both the first woman and first African American to serve in the position. “Hayden will be the first Librarian of Congress appointed during the internet age […]