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 – and the first librarian who seems to understand its power,” wrote Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic.

“Libraries are usually seen as repositories of history, not places where history is made. But yesterday was an exception as the Senate moved to confirm the nation’s next Librarian of Congress—one who is widely expected to change the institution and the role forever,” said Erin Blakemore for Smithsonian.com.

“An administrator so dedicated to bringing the library to the people that she kept everything open during last year’s unrest in Baltimore will become the first black American and first female librarian of Congress,” reported Melanie Eversley of USA Today.

The announcement made many more national and regional news including The Baltimore Sun, TimeThe Washington Post, Slate Magazine and American Libraries.

In other big name news, the Library also announced Smokey Robinson as the next recipient of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

“Whether he was singing his own compositions or writing for other artists, Smokey Robinson was instrumental in shaping the Motown sound that changed American popular music in the 1960s,” wrote Ben Nuckols for the Associated Press. “Now, his accomplishments have won him the pop music prize from the national library.”

“As a singer, songwriter and producer, Mr. Robinson, 76, has a musical résumé few can match,” said Joe Coscarelli of the New York Times.

Library experts continue to be featured in The Washington Post’s series of “Presidential” podcasts. New presentations are on Teddy Roosevelt and Benjamin Harrison. In fact, the presentation on William Howard Taft rounds out the Library’s contribution to the series, which also noted the Library as “such an incredible resource.”

And, finally, Upworthy included the Library of Congress in its list of nine “stunningly beautiful libraries to see before you die.

Pic of the Week: Final Projects

On Wednesday, the Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Interns presented more than 100 rare and unique items from 17 Library divisions. The display provided the opportunity for fellows to discuss the historic significance of the collection items they have researched and processed during their 10-week internships. Some highlights included: an Olmec ceramic figurine (900-1200 […]

Pic of the Week: Teacher Institutes

(The following was written by Stephen Wesson, Educational Resource Specialist at the Library of Congress.) This June and July, teachers and school librarians from more than 40 states have gathered in Washington for the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes. These intensive, week-long professional development sessions, which are organized by the Library’s Educational Outreach division, […]

Pic of the Week: Country Crooners

The Country Music Association and Library of Congress Music Division joined forces again to bring the CMA Songwriters Series to the Library’s historic Coolidge Auditorium. This year’s concert featured Kristian Bush of the hit country duo Sugarland, along with Jim Collins and Charlie Worsham. Launched in 2005 at Joe’s Pub in New York City, the CMA Songwriters Series gives […]

Pic of the Read: America Reads

“America Reads,” which opened yesterday in the Southwest Gallery of the Jefferson Building, is possibly the first sequel exhibition at the Library of Congress. It follows the institution’s popular 2012 exhibition “Books That Shaped America,” which displayed 88 books by American authors “that had a profound effect on American life.” For this exhibition, the books were chosen […]

Pic of the Week: Eskin Lecture Recognizes Military Service

Dr. Jill Biden joined young-adult author Michael Grant and two female combat soldiers in conversation, comparing and contrasting real and imagined events in World War II with 21st-century combat and military life, in the Library of Congress’ annual Jonah Solkoff Eskin Memorial program on Monday. Monday was also the 72nd anniversary of WWII’s D-Day landing […]

Pic of the Week: Welcome to the Class

Thirty-eight undergraduate and graduate students convened on the Library this week to participate in the Library’s 2016 Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program. Nearly 800 applicants vied for a spot in the program. This year’s group hails from 20 states, the District of Columbia and the African country of Chad. For the next 10 weeks, the students will be […]

Pic of the Week: AFC Celebrates 40

The American Folklife Center (AFC) hosted a reception in celebration of its 40th anniversary last Wednesday. Special guests giving remarks were David Mao, acting Librarian of Congress; Kurt Dewhurst, chairman of AFC’s board of trustees; Betsy Peterson, AFC’s current director; and David Isay, founder of StoryCorps. The reception included a special performance by Nakotah LaRance, […]

America’s Public Libraries

(The following is the cover story from the May/June 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM, written by Yvonne Dooley, reference librarian in the Science, Technology and Business Division and president of the D.C. Library Association. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) More popular than ever, public libraries are changing to meet […]

Pic of the Week: Music Makers

On Tuesday, the Library hosted the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Foundation for its annual “We Write the Songs” concert, featuring the songwriters performing and telling the stories behind their own music. Featured performances were by Brian McKnight, Monica, Brett James, MoZella, Priscilla Renea, Randy Goodrum, Desmond Child and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Jennifer Higdon.   […]