Kevin Young stepped into his role as director of New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in September 2016, succeeding former director Khalil Gibran Muhammad. Young most recently served at Emory University, Atlanta, as curator of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library and curator of literary collections at the Rose Library, at the same time holding the Charles Howard Candler Professorship of Creative Writing and English. If it were not enough that Young now helms Harlem’s Schomburg Center, on March 15 he was also appointed poetry editor of the New Yorker, to succeed Paul Muldoon.
The modern fantasy genre includes both the sublime and the subversively ridiculous. Novelist Lloyd Alexander famously said, “Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.” Philosopher-writer Theodor Geisel also said, “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy [is] a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.” In her upcoming fantasy novel, The Dragon’s Legacy, Alaska-raised author Deborah Wolf indulges in both.
When asked about writing and the lament of “nothing new under the sun,” George Saunders once said, “You realize that there have always been, and will always be, young artistic people in the world who, being relatively new to the world, are freshly amazed by its beauty.” When so inclined, novelists and their readers can find something extraordinary in well-worn genres like dark fantasy or crime drama. When such genres are combined, however, the potential for such amazement is increased.
James Brogden’s dark fantasy Hekla’s Children offers a heroic, human response to evil and chaos. In his essay, “On Fairy-Stories,” J.R.R. Tolkien posits that a work of fantasy should allow a reader to experience a world that is credible, consistent, and rational—within the framework of its own rules.
Nicolle Davies has not been resting on her laurels since she was recognized as Library Journal’s 2016 Librarian of the Year. At the time of the award’s announcement, in January, Davies served as executive director of Arapahoe Library District (ALD), Centennial, CO, since 2012. In July 2016, Davies left ALD to become the executive director of Charleston County Public Library (CCPL), SC.
In March, Lisa Lucas will complete her first year as executive director of the National Book Foundation (NBF). Lucas took the reins of the nonprofit, which oversees the 67-year-old National Book Awards (NBA), when Harold Augenbraum stepped down. She has her sights set on further enlarging NBF’s reach; LJ caught up with Lucas to find out more about what she has planned and how libraries fit into the NBF’s vision.
Library for All, a nonprofit organization that has created a digital library solution designed to deliver ebooks and high-quality educational materials to children and readers in developing countries, was recently honored with an Empowering People Award. The global competition held by the Siemens Stiftung foundation is designed to find the most innovative technology solutions currently improving people’s lives in the developing world.
Early in 2017, Adam Matthew, a database vendor known for its collections of digitized historical primary sources, will release a new collection called Race Relations. The database will offer access to a trove of previously undigitized civil rights material from the Race Relations Department of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, 1943–70, an organization that was based at Fisk University in Nashville and whose records are now housed at the Amistad Center at Tulane University in New Orleans. Chianta Dorsey, an archivist at the Amistad Center, explains, “The formal program of the department began in 1943 as a forum to engage in a national discussion regarding numerous topics including racial and ethnic relationships, economics, education, government policy, housing and employment.”
At their Trustees/Friends luncheon on April 8, the Tennessee Library Association and Friends of Tennessee Libraries (FOTL) jointly honored longtime Friend Julie D. Webb with their Friend of the Year Award, which celebrates a group or individual that has made a significant contribution to a Friends organization and the advancement of libraries in the state.
Gary Shaffer, CEO of Tulsa City-County Library (TCCL), OK, since 2011 (and a 2006 LJ Mover & Shaker), will be stepping into a new role in January as director of the Master of Management in Library and Information Science (MMLIS) program at the University of Southern California (USC) Marshall School of Business.