Library in the News: March 2015 Edition

Headlining Library of Congress news for March was the announcement of new selections to the National Recording Registry.

Time called this year’s selections the “most American playlist ever.”

“If the Smithsonian is America’s attic, the National Recording Registry is the dusty box of records that America’s parents left up there,” wrote reporter Ryan Teague Beckwith.

Ben E. King of “Stand By Me” fame (which was one of the selections this year) told CBS News that having his song included in the registry “is one of the greatest moments of my life.”

Voice of America spoke with Christopher Cerf, co-producer and composer of some of the songs on “Sesame Street: Platinum All-Time Favorites,” which made the registry this year.

He said it was an honor and that he felt “incredibly lucky” to be a included in the registry.

Other outlets running the story included USA Today, Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, NPR, BBC, LA Times, Associated Press (print and broadcast), The Washington Post, PBS NewsHour, ABC News, BET and a variety of local news outlets across the country.

Also receiving praise for her work was author Louise Erdich, who was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction.

Erdrich told Alexandra Alter of the New York Times Artsbeat blog that receiving such awards feels like “an out of body experience.”

“It seems that these awards are given to a writer entirely different from the person I am — ordinary and firmly fixed,” she said. “Given the life I lead, it is surprising these books got written. Maybe I owe it all to my first job — hoeing sugar beets. I stare at lines of words all day and chop out the ones that suck life from the rest of the sentence. Eventually all those rows add up.”

“In addition to the Library of Congress, I have my parents Rita and Ralph, in whom my grandparents’ spirits are still vital, to thank for this recognition,” Erdrich told Fine Books & Collections Magazine.

In other news, the Library opened a new exhibitions in March: “Pointing Their Pens: Herblock and Fellow Cartoonists Confront the Issues.”

Running an announcement was The New York Times.

Also garnering attention was the Library’s exhibit on theatrical design, which opened in February.

“In the performing arts, stage design often goes overlooked while the audience is captivated by the completely immersive experience of actors, scene, music, and costumes. The current Library of Congress exhibition ‘Grand Illusion: The Art of Theatrical Design’ showcases this essential craft,” wrote Allison Meier for hyperallergic.com.

Speaking of Library exhibits, President Barack Obama and his daughters stopped by the Library in March for a special viewing of Lincoln’s second inaugural address, which was on view for four days early in the month. The Washington Post covered the visit.

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