April 8, 2011 (REVISED May 19, 2011) History of African-American Family Is Subject of Book Discussion

Vivian Ann Davidson Hewitt Chronicles Family Started by Freed Slaves

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221


Vivian Ann Davidson Hewitt, who, among other achievements, was the first African-American president of the Special Libraries Association (1978-1979), has written an autobiographical history of her remarkable life, called “The One and Only” (available at www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1800058 External, 2011). Hewitt will discuss and sign her book during a program on Monday, May 23, at noon in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The event is part of the Books & Beyond author series presented by the Center for the Book, and it is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

Hewitt’s association with the Library of Congress dates to 1979-1982, when she served as a member of the Center for the Book’s first National Advisory Board. Later, in 2000, the Library’s American Folklife Center initiated the Local Legacies program to mark the Library’s bicentennial. Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.), who is a member of Hewitt’s extended family, suggested that documentation of Hewitt’s family reunion, which has been held annually since 1906, become one of the Local Legacies projects from his state.

Hewitt has also been chief librarian for the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations.

In addition to her career with libraries, Vivian Hewitt and her late husband, John Hewitt, collected more than 500 pieces of art during their 50-year marriage. The John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art is now in the permanent collections of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture in Charlotte, N.C.

“The One and Only: Vivian Ann Davidson Hewitt” must be purchased online; those wishing to have the author sign her work should bring their copies to the program.

Hewitt’s book is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The new Books & Beyond Book Club is available at www.facebook.com/booksandbeyond/. Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared or will appear in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard.

Since its creation by Congress in 1977 to "stimulate public interest in books and reading," the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress (www.Read.gov/cfb/) has become a major national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages, nationally and internationally. The center provides leadership for 52 affiliated state centers for the book (including the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and nonprofit reading-promotion partners and plays a key role in the Library’s annual National Book Festival. It also oversees the Library’s www.Read.gov website and administers the Library’s Young Readers Center.


PR 11-078
ISSN 0731-3527