Library in the News: April 2016 Edition

April headlines covered a wide range of stories about the Library of Congress.

Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera continues to make the news, especially with the April announcement of his returning for a second term.

Herrera told Sara Catania of Reuters that poetry fans provided an “inspiration tsunami” during his first year in which he shepherded a crowd-sourced poem and addressed high-profile tragedies.

For his second term, he told Ron Charles of The Washington Post that he’s considering a “superhero story for children” that they would assist in writing online in addition to outreach to young people with special needs.

Speaking to his hometown newspaper the Fresno Bee Herrera said there was much more work to be done and that he was grateful and honored to be reappointed.

Mentalfloss offered 10 facts about the Poet Laureate position for Poetry Month in which they highlighted Herrera’s second term.

Also “returning” to the Library was the StoryCorps mobile recording booth, which has been on tour since 2005. The Library of Congress is the repository for the oral histories collected as part of the project, which launched in 2003. Kicking off the Library tour stop was WAMU’s Diane Rehm and her son David. Washingtonian covered the event.

The Library has certainly honored and hosted its fair share of notable individuals through the years. In April, the institution celebrated writer Mario Vargas Llosa and awarded him its Living Legend Award.

“Living, yes, I think I am living,” he told the crowd at the festivities on Monday night (as reported in the New York Times). “Not a legend.”

And, putting the spotlight on the Library of Congress itself was Ryan Cooper for The Week.

“It’s a place where you feel the weight of history pressing down,” he wrote. “‘Is this tweet really the best use of your time?’ it says. ‘Shouldn’t you be unraveling the mysteries of the universe, or writing the next great American novel?’ … “Under the dome of the Main Reading Room — as with the Capitol Rotunda — the demand to live up to the national ancestors is almost palpable.”

Pic of the Week: StoryCorps Makes a Stop

In May 2005, two StoryCorps MobileBooths left the Library of Congress to travel across the United States—one taking an Eastern route and the other covering the Western states. This inaugural tour stopped at 34 cities, and visits lasted two and three weeks, with about 100 interviews collected at each location. The MobileBooth returned to the […]

Curator’s Picks: All That Jazz

(The following is an article from the March/April 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Music Division Curator Larry Appelbaum highlights items from the Library’s exhibition “Jazz Singers.” BILLIE HOLIDAY No matter how many times I’ve seen this iconic portrait of Ms. Holiday by […]

Pic of the Week: Happy 216th Library of Congress!

The Library of Congress celebrates its 216th birthday on Sunday. Founded on April 24, 1800, thanks to an appropriation approved by Pres. John Adams of $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.” What started with a whopping 740 books and three maps has evolved to more […]

Pic of the Week: An Encore for the Poet Laureate

Juan Felipe Herrera, U.S. poet laureate consultant in poetry, has been appointed a second term – an appointment announced, then celebrated in the Coolidge Auditorium on Wednesday night. “What a great joy, what a great joy this is,” Herrera, the 21st laureate, told the audience. “How beautiful it is to be here. How beautiful the Library of Congress is. […]

Pic of the Week: Alice’s Adventures in the Library

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the Young Readers Center in the Library of Congress hosted Alice herself, who read from her adventures and led a parade through the halls of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building. The Library of Congress has multiple illustrated editions of Carroll’s noted […]

Pic of the Week: It’s Bloomin’ Time

This week marks the beginning of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual event held in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the gift of some 3,000 Yoshino cherry trees given to the city in 1912 as a symbol of friendship between Japan and the United States. The grounds of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building are home […]

Happy 265th James Madison!

James Madison is known as the Father of the Constitution because of his pivotal role in the document’s drafting as well as its ratification. Madison also drafted the first 10 amendments — the Bill of Rights. When the federal Constitution was approved by the states and went into effect in 1789, the absence of a […]

Pic of the Week: Hedge Coke Honored as Witter Bynner Fellow

On Wednesday, poet Allison Hedge Coke was honored as the 2016 Witter Bynner Fellow. She was selected and introduced by Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, Juan Felipe Herrera. In his selection, Herrera said he sought to honor Hedge Coke “for her precision of Earth, of suffering in and out of […]

Pic of the Week: Read Across America

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.” ~ Dr. Seuss On Wednesday, children gathered at the Library’s Young Readers Center for “Read Across America” day, which also coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. The National Education Association’s signature program is now in its […]