Library in the News: November 2016 Edition

Smokey Robinson made headlines as the Library celebrated his work and career during the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song celebration concert.

“Amid multiple standing ovations from an audience filled with political dignitaries at DAR Constitution Hall, the Motown star reflected on his humble Detroit roots as he accepted the prestigious Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” wrote Brian McCollum for the Detroit Free Press.

Robinson had previously spoken with McCollum about the honor on the eve of the concert.

“If I’m being even mentioned in the same breath with the Gershwins — whose music is everlasting — then that’s a crowning achievement for me as a songwriter. I want to be Beethoven, man. I want to be Bach, Chopin,” he said. “Five hundred years from now, they’ll still be playing Smokey Robinson music: If possible, that’s what I want to be. So this is the first step.”

“Robinson’s songs — whether written for himself and the Miracles or other Motown artists — have soundtracked so many lives because of their emotional universality. They transcend time, space, performer and genre, and the event was programmed to illustrate that fact,” said Chris Kelly for The Washington Post.

In a special video presentation, the Post featured fans reminiscing on their favorite Smokey Robinson songs and how his music affected their lives.

“The audience sang and clapped along to “My Girl,” the night’s show closer, as a testament to Robinson’s enduring compositions,” reported Joshua Barajas for PBS NewsHour.

Other stories ran on CBS, WTOP, Billboard and Broadway World, among others.

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden continued to make headlines in November.

“At different times in the library’s history, the people who have served as Librarian of Congress—scholars, librarians, lawyers—have each brought different skills,” she says. “As a librarian, I might have experiences to bring as the library faces a new part of its history, and a lot of that has to do with technology and accessibility,” Hayden told Greg Landgraf of American Libraries Magazine.

Hayden also spoke with Rebecca Sutton of NEA Arts Magazine. “I’m just discovering the depth of the collection. I think the arts community would be very pleased by the treasures here. I’m looking at photography books now: One’s a book on lighthouses; there are others on canals, dance, furniture, documentary. It’s like being in a treasure chest,” Hayden said. “It’s a beautiful place, but it has beautiful things too. Not just beautiful, but things that make you think.”

Eric Weibel, kid reporter for Scholastic, sat down with Hayden to talk about the Library and her thoughts on children’s literature and literacy.

The Librarian also spoke with Maryland Public Television. You can see the interview beginning at the 16:16 mark.

The Library’s Veterans History Project also received media coverage in November.

Michael Ruane of The Washington Post wrote a story about the project’s online presentation, “The Art of War.”

“The collection highlights the art of servicemen and women whose only canvas was the paper they might have in their pockets,” he wrote. “It captures the mundane and dreary aspects of war, as well as the dignity of its participants, and the drama of its battles.”

Several regional outlets shared stories of collecting efforts, including New Hampshire Public Radio, the Chicago Tribune, The Sentinel Record and Tucson News Now.

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