March 3, 2008 Center for the Book To Host Program About Deaf Perspectives On Library Research March 13

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Through his philanthropy, Amos Kendall, who served as U.S. postmaster general under presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, founded the institution that would become Gallaudet University, the leading educational institution for the deaf in the world.

The Center for the Book, in partnership with the National Literary Society of the Deaf, a center reading-promotion partner, is hosting a program titled “Researching Amos Kendall: Adventures in Library Research, Literature and Literacy” on Thursday, March 13, at 11 a.m. in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington, D.C. The program is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

Speakers will describe trends among deaf individuals who use the Internet for research, writing and publication. The program includes discussions of formal methodology, as well as anecdotes from individual researchers.

Stephen Wiener, provost of Gallaudet University, describes his lifelong love of reading and writing, and addresses the topic of the importance of literature, literacy and libraries to the deaf community. Diana Gates, librarian at Gallaudet, discusses how libraries and deaf individuals can collaborate to discover deaf history, language and culture online from the university.

Lance Fischer, retired archivist and co-editor of “The History of the College for the Deaf, 1857-1907" by Edward Miner Gallaudet (Gallaudet College Press, 1983), discusses his work in researching the life and accomplishments of Kendall. The publication of this volume stimulated interest in the growing field of deaf studies.

Julie Bourne, National Association of the Deaf board member, will provide closing remarks emphasizing the importance of local- and state-level deaf organizations collaborating with libraries across the nation.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. The Center for the Book was created in 1977 to use these resources to stimulate public interest in books and reading. For information about its program, publications and reading promotion networks, visit


PR 08-044
ISSN 0731-3527