The Library of Congress has approved a proposal from the Penn State University Libraries for the creation of a Pennsylvania Center for the Book that will be located at Penn State in State College, Pa., and will be affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
"This is a welcome development and one that presents new opportunities in Pennsylvania for promoting books, reading and libraries," said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole. "It is the only affiliated state center located in a single statewide university library system."
"We are delighted that this new center will be under the auspices of Penn State Libraries," said Nancy L. Eaton, director of libraries for Penn State. "Our two dozen campuses across the commonwealth are perfectly suited to carry out the Pennsylvania Center for the Book's objectives in partnership with other Pennsylvania libraries and members of the state's community of the book."
A 15-member statewide advisory board is being formed. Initial projects will include the establishment of a Web site and a Pennsylvania Center for the Book online book club, co-sponsorship of Penn State's Summer Institute for the Study of Children's Literature, the development of a literacy training workshop for meeting the literacy needs of new parents and close cooperation with the Penn State Center for the History of the Book.
For more information, contact Steven Herb, executive director, Pennsylvania Center for the Book, Penn State, 510 Paterno Library, University Park, PA 16802, telephone (814) 865-0401; fax (814) 865-3665; e-mail: [email protected]
State Book Awards Move to Washington Center for the Book
In December, Nancy Zussy, Washington state librarian, and Deborah Jacobs, city librarian for Seattle Public Library, announced that the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library would take over the administration of the Washington Governor's Writers Awards program. As part of the agreement, the Seattle Public Library will house most of the state library's collection of books by Washington authors. Awards are presented to the authors of 10 outstanding books published during the previous year.
"We are committed to developing the awards into a major part of the state literary scene," said Nancy Pearl, executive director of the Washington Center for the Book. Support for the awards program will come from a $500,000 challenge grant recently received by the Seattle Public Library from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Washington Center for the Book is the literary and humanities programming arm of the Seattle Public Library system.
In 1998 the Washington Center for the Book received a $175,000 grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, becoming one of eight organizations in the Audiences for Literature Network, a national network of literary centers made possible by the fund. Projects supported by the grant include Book Club How-To's, a guide for book discussion groups, and a series of "reading group toolboxes," or guides to the works of well-known authors. Recent toolboxes highlight the works of Ernest J. Gaines, who was recently featured in the center's "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book" program, and novels by Graham Greene (The End of the Affair), Thomas Keneally (Woman of the Inner Sea), Graham Swift (Last Orders), Eudora Welty (The Optimist's Daughter) and Edith Wharton (The Age of Innocence).
For more information, contact the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle, WA 98104-1193; fax (206) 386-4672, www.spl.lib.wa.us/wacentbook/centbook.hml; Nancy Pearl, executive director, telephone (206) 386-4184: e-mail: [email protected]; Chris Higashi, associate director, telephone (206) 386-4650.
Georgia Book Month
In a ceremony at the state capitol on Nov. 3, Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes officially proclaimed November as "Georgia Book Month." A statewide celebration of reading and Georgia writers, Georgia Book Month is a new project of the Georgia Center for the Book, located at the DeKalb County Public Library in Decatur. "We hope this will be an annual celebration," said Anne Johnson, the center's executive director. "It's a wonderful opportunity for book sellers, librarians, literary groups and other reading promoters to present programs honoring Georgia's rich literary heritage and its authors — past and present."
Upcoming Georgia Center for the Book projects include the development of an online Georgia Literary Directory, which will be a central resource for information about literary and book events statewide and for connecting Georgia's writing and reading communities, and the creation of a state literary map.
On March 2 the Georgia Center for the Book was the statewide cosponsor, with the Georgia Association of Educators, of Read Across America, a national celebration of children's reading. The National Education Association (NEA) organizes the celebration each year on Dr. Seuss's birthday. The campaign invites every child in every community across the country to read that day with an adult. The Georgia center was a cosponsor, on Feb. 2, of the world premiere of a three-part documentary history of Southern literature, "Tell About the South: Voices in Black and White." Filmmaker Ross Spears wrote, directed and produced the program, which premiered at Georgia State University's Rialto Theater.
Other recent Georgia Center for the Book projects include: serving as statewide coordinator for Storylines America, a 13-part book-based radio discussion series on Peach State Public Radio, Oct. 3-Dec. 26, 1999; a presentation to author Pat Conroy, on April 24, 1999, of the first Stanley W. Lindberg Award honoring a person who has contributed substantially to Georgia's literary culture; with Georgia Writers Inc. and the Georgia Poetry Society, a celebration of National Poetry Month with a poetry reading on the steps of the Capitol in Atlanta; and, with the DeKalb Historical Society, sponsorship of a talk by Georgia Rep. John Lewis (D) about his book, Walking with the Wind.
For information about the Georgia Center for the Book, contact Anne Johnson, Executive Director, DeKalb County Public Library, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur, GA 30030; telephone (404) 370-8450, ext. 2235; fax (404) 370-8469; www.dekalb.public.lib.ga.us/gcb/