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Library in the News: April Edition

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April was a month of honors for the Library of Congress – from feting a sports legend to honoring achievement in fiction to an all-out Grammy nod.

On April 26, the Library celebrated the achievements of veteran sportscaster Bob Wolff, whose collection the institution also acquired. Outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Baseball Nation, WTOP and the Washington Examiner, among others, all ran stories leading up to the event and afterward.

“The stories behind his stories remain vivid,” wrote Tyler Kepner for the New York Times. “The interviews are compelling historical documents, and Wolff preserved many of the early ones on 16-inch lacquer discs – slices of sports’ oral history on pizza-size records.”

“The best way to describe sportscaster Bob Wolff is a treasure,” said Thom Loverro for the Examiner. “The best way to describe Wolff’s life is that it has been a treasured one.”

On April 25, celebrated novelist Don DeLillo was named the first recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, which will be presented to him at the 13th annual National Book Festival in September. National Public Radio, The Washington Post, The Examiner, CBS News, the Associated Press and the Miami Herald all ran stories.

“His most famous books have explored the prevalence of conspiracies, violence and political terror in a world of mass media saturation,” wrote Ron Charles for The Washington Post. “He’s still pounding away on his Olympia typewriter, transcribing his startling vision of modern America.”

And, adding another honor to its name, the Library of Congress was honored by the music industry with a special Grammy Award for its work to preserve historic audio recordings. The Associated Press wrote an article that was also featured in outlets across the country. In addition, broadcast coverage included affiliates of CBS, ABC and NBC.

“The Grammys on the Hill Awards are meant to connect the music industry with the world of policy and politics in Washington,” wrote the AP’s Brett Zongker. “Songwriter Kara DioGuardi said the library’s preservation work is critical.”

Speaking of preservation efforts, online magazine The Connectivist featured a great story on the Library’s digitization efforts.

“The library works with old books so brittle their pages go to powder if turned, and their spines snap when opened too far. Slides and negatives can crack beneath insensitive hands,” wrote Emma Bryce. “There are papers and maps so old and impossible to handle that without digitization, they’d never meet the public’s gaze. Digitizing, then, becomes a way to ‘protect’ the materials by preserving them for generations to come.”

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