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de nada, Josephine.  I realize now that I left off Chris Citron from CO!

*********
Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
Mass Center for the Book
[log in to unmask]
617.872.3718 (office)
massbook.org


On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 6:33 PM Josephine Jones <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Thanks, Sharon!
>
> On Wed, Feb 24, 2021 at 4:20 PM Sharon Shaloo <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Hi, All,
>>
>> Sorry I went all history nerd today but I love the story of the network
>> of Centers for the Book and talk about it fairly regularly when I am
>> raising friends or funds.  The CfB in LOC was established, as Rocco and Guy
>> said, by an Act of Congress.  A pdf of the typed then photocopied and etc
>> (and so blurry!) Act is available here:
>> https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/STATUTE-91/pdf/STATUTE-91-Pg1151.pdf
>>
>> As I understood it from John Cole, the founding ideas for the Center were
>> twofold:  one was that it would become an outreach mechanism for the
>> Library of Congress and two was that it would stimulate interest in books
>> and reading, by which was meant interest in the book as a material object
>> and reading as a lifelong cultural activity.  At the time, John told me,
>> the thinking was that video was displacing reading and some advocacy for
>> book culture was necessary.  Again, this was not a sense only in the US.
>> Other nations (primarily in Europe) were establishing national centers for
>> the book to understand the heritage of the written word in their languages
>> and cultures, as well.
>>
>> Initially the CfB in LOC was advised by a 100 member board, with two
>> representatives from each of the 50 states.  John worked with that model
>> for 5 to 6 years, but he told me that it was impossible to get into the
>> states through that tructure, and the board was so large that it was not
>> easy to focus attentions, etc and so on.
>>
>> At any rate, at a library conference somewhere, he was talking with a
>> colleague from Florida, Jean Tebbe, about this conundrum, and it was she,
>> as John told me, who said, "I think I can help you."  It was her idea that
>> instead of a centralized board, an affiliate network of state-based
>> organizations could bring LOC initiatives in to states and combine them
>> with home based projects all in service of the broad mandate to promote
>> books, reading, literacy and libraries.  The Florida CfB was established in
>> 1984.
>>
>> Daniel Boorstin was still Librarian of Congress when I first started
>> attending the annual LOC meetings.  He and his wife, Ruth, would come to
>> the meeting for an hour, most usually right after the luncheon.  He was
>> someone whose histories I had read while an undergraduate and so meeting
>> him and getting to talk to him made an impression, for sure.
>>
>> At the time, the Center for the Book office in LOC was staffed by John
>> Cole, Maurveen Williams, Anne Boni, and Pat White (whom Staceya later
>> replaced when Pat retired).   The Center was responsible for raising the
>> funds to cover some of those salaries, though.   When Dr Billington came to
>> LOC he agreed to pay the staff salaries but John had to commit to
>> establishing a CfB in each of the 50 states ... I believe it was 2003 or
>> 2004 when the network was fully formed.
>>
>> Massachusetts was the 38th Center for the Book, affiliated officially on
>> Jan 1, 2000.  When I first came to the meetings, the founding
>> director/coordinator for nearly all of the centers was still active and so
>> there was a lot to learn those folk.  Some of the standouts were Nancy
>> Pearl (WA), Sally Anderson (VT), Frannie Ashburn (NC), Kat (surname escapes
>> me!, CT, then at Hartford PL), Glenda Carlile (OK), Mary Kay Dahlgreen
>> (OR), Gail Bialas (TX, then at Dallas Public), .... the list goes on.
>>  Steve Herb (PA), Sid Berger (CA), and I all started in the same year,
>> 2000. Susan Coleman (VA) arrived at just about this time, IIRC. Renee
>> Schwartz (NJ) and Mary Russell (NH) joined the fold fairly early in the
>> 2000s, as well.
>>
>> It would be good to try to capture a history of the CfB network before
>> memory fades too much in our states, commonwealths, districts, territories
>> and/or protectorates.
>>
>> I'll return to my rocking chair now ...
>>
>> Sharon
>>
>> *********
>> Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
>> Mass Center for the Book
>> [log in to unmask]
>> 617.872.3718 (office)
>> massbook.org
>>
> --
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> *Josephine Jones*
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> Director of Programs & Center for the Book
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