Today marks what would have been the 84th birthday of Nobel Prize winning activist and Civil Rights Leader Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr.
The DREAM@50 is a tribute series that was held throughout 2012 and continues into 2013, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. The series included a student art contest (K-12), a world music/dance festival, and video PSAs, all in celebration of creative collaboration in both the Civil Rights Movement and the arts as the foundation for a new paradigm in how we can live together. Philadelphia was one of 10 U.S. cities chosen to participate in the contest.
The Free Library LEAP DREAM@50 contest winners can be seen on the right.
Those winners have been submitted to the Philadelphia-wide DREAM@50 art contest which will be judged with the results being announced at an awards ceremony on February 20th at Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel UniversityChildren’s Literature Citation
This citation is awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to literature for children and who is from Philadelphia, or has contributed significantly to the advancement of this field in the Philadelphia area.
Congratulations to Eileen Spinelli, winner of the 2012 Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children's Literature Citation!
On Monday, October 1st at the Annual Pennsylvania Library Association meeting, the 2012 Free Library of Philadelphia/Drexel University Children's Literature Citation was presented to Eileen Spinelli for creating books with real plots, for real children, and pouring compassion and empathy into every single word. For eloquently and passionately dramatizing the lives of working mothers and fathers who find the time to read - and be read to - by the children. For bringing a poet's rich and textured language to the unique perspectives of children's voices and experiences.
April 14th is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 26th induction ceremony, celebrating the achievements of some of the biggest names in rock music as well as recognizing some early influences and contributions of other music industry figures. This year’s class of inductees include a number of well-known and not-so-well-known acts—if your curiosity is piqued, check out some of their CDs, or take a look at some of the books, sheet music, magazine articles, and other material the Free Library has about these musicians and music industry figures, or about the Hall of Fame Museum!
The Hall’s website has information about the induction process, and their YouTube channel is filled with interviews about the museum and concert footage recorded at the annual induction ceremonies from years past.
Guns N’ Roses, formed by members hard rock bands LA Guns and Hollywood Rose in 1985, released one of the best selling debut albums of all time—1987’s Appetite for Destruction. The Free Library has biographies of each of their guitarists from their classic era.
Another of this year's inductees, the Beastie Boys, began as a hardcore punk act in New York in 1979 before transitioning to hip-hop to became one of its biggest acts, and the first to have an album chart in the Billboard 200--the 9x-platinum album, Licensed to Ill. The Free Library has a book of sheet music (Solid Gold Hits), and also John Rocco’s collection of articles, commentary, and essays entitled, The Beastie Boys Companion.
Also being inducted this year are Scottish folk-rocker Donovan, 60’s Singer-Songwriter Laura Nyro, and the British mod group Small Faces
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame’s board made an interesting decision this year to begin inducting the sidemen, instrumentalists, and backing groups that supported some of the artists who were initially inducted as individuals, recognizing the ensemble’s unique contribution to the music of their breakout star. This year’s list of ensembles includes Chester County’s own Comets (with whom Bill Haley recorded “Rock Around the Clock”), Gene Vincent’s Blue Caps, The Miracles (as in “Smokey Robinson and the”), The Midnighters (who backed Hank Ballard on the original version of a song called “The Twist” that South Philadelphian Chubby Checker later made world famous) and James Brown’s Famous Flames, with whom he recorded his breakthrough album Live at the Apollo. The Free Library has a number of books about these stars and their backing groups, including a book by Famous Flame Don Rhodes, and one by another James Brown sideman who was not a Famous Flame, but led the JBs for a time, Fred Wesley.
Lastly, the Free Library has thousands of compact discs in every style and genre available for checkout, and the Parkway Central Music Department has a wide variety of reference material (books, indexes, articles, and other materials that usually have to be used in the library, so that they are always available) for anyone researching famous musicians or subjects in music history! Stop by the Free Library and take a look!
With all the glitz and glamour that Hollywood is known for, it is easy to imagine that the Oscars have always looked like they do now with red carpets and galas and tear-soaked speeches. Yet, if you are watching the 84th Annual Academy Awards presentation live this Sunday, take a moment to compare this year’s proceedings with the first, which was held May 16, 1929. As the event was more banquet than ceremony, it was held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and rather than sitting in rows of plush seats like those at the Kodak Theatre, the current home of the Awards, the 270 guests, who had paid $5.00 per ticket to attend, sat around tables for dinner and those called up to receive statuettes or honorary scrolls were seated at the head table. Dancing followed, and it was only after this that host Douglas Fairbanks began the formal presentation. With a typical running time of three and a half to four hours, it would be a surprise to modern audiences if the ceremony were scaled back to the 1929 time of five minutes, which was the case in part because there was only one formal speech and one musical performance. We would also have to get used to not seeing the iconic envelope, as the winners in every category had been announced to the industry and the public a full three months prior to the Awards.
However, as many differences as there are, it seems that history has a way of repeating itself. The first film to ever win Best Picture was a silent film in black and white. Wings, produced by Adolph Zukor at Paramount Studios and directed by William Wellman in 1927, was a spectacle about aerial battles in WWI and starred Clara Bow and Charles “Buddy” Rogers. So far it is the only silent film in Oscar history to win Best Picture, but with the French film The Artist up for the award, maybe this year will see another such film added to that list.
The Wings images below are scans of items in the Free Library's Theatre Collection. If you want to view the movie, Paramount recently released a restored and remastered verson on DVD and Blu-ray.
Today at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, TX, the Caldecott and Newbery Award winners and honor books were announced. The Caldecott Medal awards the artist of the most distinguished American picture book, and the Newbery Medal honors the most distinguished contribution to Children’s literature.
This year’s winner of the Caldecott is Chris Raschka for his book A Ball for Daisy.He previously won the Caldecott Medal in 2006 for his illustrations in Norton Juster’s The Hello, Goodbye Window.
In addition, the Caldecott Committee also chose three other picture books for the honor list: Blackout by John Rocco, Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, and Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell.
We are especially proud that one of our own Children’s Librarians served on the Caldecott Committee this year, and we applaud her—and the rest of the committee’s—hard work in selecting the Medal winner. Please stop in today and check these out!