The American Library Association announced its finalists for the second annual Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction yesterday. The three nominees in fiction are Canada, by Richard Ford, The Round House, by Louise Erdrich, and This is How You Lose Her, by Junot Diaz; the three nominees in nonfiction are The Mansion of Happiness, by Harvard historian Jill Lepore, the medical science thriller, Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic, by David Quammen, and Timothy Egan’s Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: The Epic Life and Immortal Photographs of Edward Curtis. The winners (one for each category) will be announced at ALA’s annual conference in Chicago June 30th. Founded in 2012, the award is co-sponsored by Booklist and ALA’s Reference and User Services Association (RUSA). Last year’s prizes went to Man Booker Award-winner Anne Enright for her novel The Forgotten Waltz and Pulitzer Prize winner Robert K. Massie for his biography of Catherine the Great. You can read more about the selections here.
This year, for the first time, ALA will present two literary prizes for adult works. The Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction will be awarded this June at the 2012 ALA Conference. Funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, “the awards will celebrate the best of the best and serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material, making a real contribution to our country being a nation of readers,” said Molly Raphael, ALA President. Fifty titles are under consideration for the Carnegie Medals, drawn from last year’s Booklist Editors’ Choice and Reference and User Services Association’s (RUSA) Collection Development and Evaluation Section (CODES) Notable Books lists. The finalists will be announced in May. Librarian and NPR contributor Nancy Pearl will chair this year’s selection committee of “seven library professionals with expertise in adult literature.” You can read more about the awards here.
The urban fiction panel, “PHAT Fiction: Engaging Hip Hop Literature in the Public Library”, co-moderated at ALA by librarian, (Evanston Public Library) Susan McClelland, and Chicago Public Library Book Club Coordinator, K.C. Boyd, was a rousing success! The Monday, June 28, program featured four urban fiction authors (Coe Booth, Paula Chase, Kia DuPree, and Tachelle Wilkes) and seven librarians (K.C. Boyd, Megan Honig, Christopher Lassen, D.L. Grant,Vanessa Morris, and Amy Pattee). The authors and librarians discussed aspects of urban fiction’s appeal to readers, its impact on publishing and options for library programming. The 200-seat capacity room was standing room only, and one lucky reader even took home twenty hardcover urban fiction titles, courtesy of Follett Resources who supplied books for a raffle drawing at the program’s end. Visit the wiki and view panel discussions and photos online.
As Evanstonians are acutely aware, times are tough for libraries. The current economic climate has resulted in cuts to library funding nationwide. Large cities and small towns alike have been feeling the crunch of tight budgets and funding cuts. But for those of us who love and support our local libraries, there are still ample opportunities to have our voices be heard. For those looking to share some library love, there are a couple of easy ways to do so right now at EPL:
1.) Woman’s Day magazine and the American Library Association are currently running an essay contest for women who love the library. They are looking for original essays (by women) of 700 words or less, telling why the library is important in your community. Up to four essays will appear in an upcoming issue of Woman’s Day and online at WomansDay.com. Submissions are being accepted through May 09, 2010. Additional information and the official rules for the contest are available here.
2.) The week of April 11th is National Library Week and we’d like for you to help us celebrate. We’re looking to collect brief, 1 or 2 sentence testimonials from our patrons about why they love the library. We’re planning to post your comments on our website for the week to celebrate our patrons, our library, and our community. If you’re interested in contributing a comment, please stop by either the 2nd Floor Reader’s Advisory Desk or the 3rd Floor Reference Desk and talk to a librarian anytime.