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Library in the News: September 2016 Edition

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In case you missed it, the Library of Congress has a new Librarian of Congress, who made headlines throughout the month of September.

In addition to being named Fox News Sunday Power Play of the Week, Carla Hayden spoke with several outlets, including USA Today, The Washington Post, The Guardian, NBC, NPR, CBS, The New Yorker and C-Span.

“Being the first female and the first African American means that the legacy of the 14 Librarians of Congress will include diversity–and also a female in a female-dominated profession,” Hayden told Sarah Begley of Time Magazine.

“To be the head of an institution that’s associated with knowledge and reading and scholarship when slaves were forbidden to learn how to read on punishment of losing limbs, that’s kind of something,’’ she said during her interview with The New York Times.

“It’s a librarian’s dream,” she told Jeffrey Brown of PBS NewsHour regarding taking on the position. “And in the field, it’s seen as a job that really epitomizes what libraries can mean and symbolize. So, this library can really help libraries throughout the country show the worth of a library and a community.”

Covering Hayden’s swearing-in on Sept. 14 was Library Journal.

“The prevailing sentiment of the day was one of confidence in Hayden’s leadership and great hopes for LC’s future,” wrote Lisa Peet.

Speaking of firsts, the Library’s 16th annual National Book Festival featured a few of them, including being streamed live on Facebook. Highlights of the all-day event popped up in several news outlets.

“To walk around a major book festival and see the celebration of authors was to see that we continue to embrace the physical book over the intangible experience of a Kindle or iPad,” wrote Heather Hunter for Popzette.

“Given all the depressing statistics about children’s reading habits and screen-time addictions, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday served as a loud-and-proud rebuttal. The place was jam-packed with children and teenagers at the annual National Book Festival, sponsored by the Library of Congress,” wrote Ian Shapira for The Washington Post.

Publishers Weekly  and The Georgetowner highlighted the festival in photos.

As part of the lead-up to the festival, the Library also announced the winners of the Library of Congress Literacy Awards.

“As Frederick Douglass said, ‘Once you learn to read, you will be forever free,’” Hayden said in announcing the awards. “You will be free to explore, dream and make your own history. It is wonderful to recognize these organizations that are doing so much to fulfill that promise for countless lives, from remote aboriginal communities in Australia to as close as our own back yard of Washington, D.C.” The Washington Post covered the program honoring the recipients.

In other news, the Library has completed a three-year project, financed by Carnegie Corporation of New York, to digitize holdings of the Library of Congress relating to the culture and history of Afghanistan, for use by that nation’s cultural and educational institutions.

“The next generation of Afghans will have a whole lot more than that at their fingertips, thanks in part to a major initiative from the U.S. Library of Congress,” wrote Teresa Welsh for McClatchy. “Much of the material in the Library of Congress’ archive can’t be found in Afghanistan itself and some unique documents can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

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