Chicago’s alternative weekly newspaper Newcity has chosen two Booklist editors for Lit 50 2017, a list of 50 people who demonstrate the city’s literary clout. It reflects a dynamic landscape of civic groups, bookstores, educators, advocates, publishers, discourse enablers, and power shapers who create space for ideas and words to flourish. Booklist Editor and Publisher Bill Ott and Adult Books Editor Donna Seaman were chosen for their influence on librarians and readers.
Newcity, May 25
Trading what police say was a stolen painting of former Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz for $20 has landed a homeless man in a court-ordered drug treatment program. The painting of Big Papi, valued at $1,000, was recovered by police May 24 after it was stolen from the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, Massachusetts. The portrait of Ortiz went missing sometime after May 7 from an ongoing art exhibit at the library and was reported stolen to police on May 20. The artwork was painted by local artist Edwina Caci.
Quincy (Mass.) Patriot Ledger, May 25
A whimsical bronze statue was stolen from the McKinley branch of the Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library lobby in broad daylight, leaving some to worry that the much-loved sculpture of an adventurous boy balancing on a paper airplane will end up as scrap metal on a junk heap. The statue, titled “Journeys of the Imagination,” was taken on May 24 from the table to which it was bolted. The library has no security cameras. The beloved sculpture was purchased for $6,995 in 2008.
Sacramento (Calif.) Bee, May 25
Jessie Kratz writes: “May 29, marks the 100th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s birth. The John F. Kennedy Library didn’t open for more than 15 years after the President’s death in 1963. It was originally supposed to have been built near Harvard University in Cambridge, but after years of delays, the location moved to Columbia Point in South Boston. Ground was broken on June 12, 1977, and the building was officially dedicated on October 20, 1979. But long before the library opened to the public, an exhibit of its future holdings went on a worldwide tour.”
National Archives: Pieces of History, May 26
It’s been just over four months since ProQuest announced its commitment to securely connecting users to ProQuest systems; now it’s approaching the final phase when the company will sunset its support of the legacy HTTP protocol and require connection to ProQuest systems with the more secure version, HTTPS. As of June 30, the ProQuest platform will require the use of HTTPS for all search and document retrieval requests. Here’s what to do before then.
ProQuest, May 23
Admirers of the great American novel have a treat in store, as the first museum devoted to US writers opened in Chicago in mid-May. Seven years in the making, the American Writers Museum, 180 N. Michigan Avenue, offers an entertaining and sometimes surprising tour through the whole tradition, from early colonists to modernists such as Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Along the way, visitors can learn about their lives and words, and just how the US has seen itself over the years.
The Guardian (UK), May 24
Approximately 80 companies—including EBSCO Information Services, Macmillan, and Britannica Digital Learning—have united to form the Corporate Committee for Library Investment and requested all US senators to sign “Dear Appropriator” letters in response to President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts that eliminate funding for public libraries. By May 26, a record 45 senators signed the LSTA letter and 37 signed the IAL letter, a record high for LSTA.
New Hampshire Business Review, May 25
The Poetry Foundation has named poet, novelist, and journalist Margarita Engle as the new Young People’s Poet Laureate, a title given biennially in recognition of outstanding achievement in poetry for children. She is the first Latino to receive the honor. Engle will succeed current laureate Jacqueline Woodson on June 12, promoting a love of poetry among young readers. Paige Bentley-Flannery suggests three ways libraries can get the word out.
Publishers Weekly, May 16
David Stuart Jr. writes: “I struggle to imagine putting together a solid argument for why we wouldn’t want all of our students to be capable writers when they graduate. Writing well is an obvious good. While much fuss was made about newfangled 21st-century skills, one very old skill that seems to be only increasing in importance is writing. Unless you’re a future miner, writing matters—especially if you want access to the salaried jobs that typically coincide with a middle class lifestyle.”
ACRL is offering a variety of webcasts this summer to meet the demands of your schedule and budget. These interactive webcasts last 60–90 minutes and take place in an interactive online classroom; group discounts are available. Full details and registration information are available on the ACRL website.
ACRL, May 25
Mark F. Hall writes: “Over Memorial Day weekend, Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp) and the latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise will sail into theaters across the country. While the storyline, special effects, and supernatural elements will be new, the image of the swashbuckling pirate that has evolved from pirate stories that were among the very earliest motion pictures remains faithful to the pirate stereotypes promulgated through centuries of literary works.”
Library of Congress: Fom the Catbird Seat, May 24
Following receipt of a letter from National Coalition Against Censorship member organizations, the principal of New London–Spicer (Minn.) Middle School responded that she will recommend keeping Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in the 8th grade curriculum. The book was challenged by parents who said it contained “gratuitous and unnecessary” profanity and references to sexual acts.
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, May 25