Small world, indeed!  I didn't stay long at HBJ, not quite a year, before moving to the Helen Brann Literary Agency, but long enough to complete the HBJ editing and production course.  My best memory was when we went to the print shop and the old timers spoke lovingly and longingly for the days of hot type. 

Our network is such a web of connections. Wendy Martin (VT) just wrote to say she was working in publicity at Knopf,.Atheneum, and FSG at that time, as well.   I bet we all wound up at the Cosmopolitan Club on the same night at least once during those years!

Cheers,

Sharon



On Thu, Feb 25, 2021, 6:59 PM Arana, Marie <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Sharon! I had no idea you were at HBJ! I was there in my late 20s, cutting my editorial teeth. Did our paths cross, perhaps? I worked in the chairman’s office. Small world!

Marie 

Marie Arana

Literary Director


Library of Congress

Office:  202-707-6933

Cell:  202-255-0660

[log in to unmask]

 

http://staff.loc.gov/sites/librarylink/files/2018/08/Email-LOC-logo.jpg


On: 25 February 2021 13:11, "Sharon Shaloo" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
Like Karen, I also come out of book history -- a research field inspired by the time off for good behavior I took after completing a Masters and heading to NYC to work in publishing.  (Lasted four years, first at what was then known as Harcourt Brace Jovanovich and then at a literary agency -- on Sutton Place South, Rocco! -- before high-tailing it back to the academy, bringing an interest in pubishing studies with me).

But I actually came to the Mass Center for the Book owing to a cocktail conversation I had in about 1998 with John Cole at a Society for the History of Authorship, Reading, and Publishing conference, held that particular year in Vancouver British Columbia.  At the time, I was trying to move out of university teaching (after 20+ years) into administration and was shopping around the idea of establishing a Center for American Women's Book History at a women's college in Mass.  I was talking with John about this over drinks and he pointed across the room to a guy who he thought might have some ideas ... a guy who was on a committee trying to start a Massachusetts Center for the Book.  

And so it goes.... 

cheers, S 

And so it goes! 

/S 

*********
Sharon Shaloo, Executive Director
Mass Center for the Book 
617.872.3718 (office)


On Thu, Feb 25, 2021 at 10:14 AM Karen Oconnell <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Dear Sharon and All,

 

Sharon, thank you so much for sharing this! My background is in book history and the book arts as well, which was one of the main reasons I was attracted to – and applied for – the CfB position in Arkansas when I was relocating here. I also read the CfB publication, Books on the Frontier, before moving here!

 

I’m so glad we have this network! I’ve learned so much and have been so inspired by everyone this last year and a half!

 

All the best,

Karen

 

 

Karen O’Connell

Coordinator of the Arkansas Center for the Book

Arkansas State Library

501-682-2874

[log in to unmask]

https://library.arkansas.gov

 

 

 

From: Center for the Book state centers communication <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Sharon Shaloo
Sent: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 5:19 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: History of CfB Network

 

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 

617.872.3718 (office)