Archive for April, 2008

The Pulitzer Prize and Other Book Awards

 Bob Dylan, among others, were presented with Pulitzers on Monday, April 7. The Pulitzers have a long and distinguished history, and have rewarded mostly journalistic writings which is in keeping with the founder of the awards, Joseph Pulitzer, an immigrant from Hungary, a Civil War veteran, a famous newspaper publisher, and a member of Congress.  Online works dealing with Pulitzer are available, as is a profile in The New York Times which also includes excerpts from other papers.  Also, check OSCAR for additional monographs on him. However, the Pulitzers are not the only book awards, far from it. In the Library’s database by title section, you will see Books in Print which has an extensive awards area. We also suscribe to the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database which allows searchers to limit to award-winning works only. Other useful tools found on the Library’s homepage include the BookWire awards listings as well as the Database of Award-Winning Children’s Literature which allows the searching of 78 separate awards. An outdated but still useful database is Booklist Center which covers a plethora of awards. So if you are assigned a report that requires you to read only certain award-winning books, we have the resources to limit your search and produce useful results.

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Online State Encyclopedias – Tennessee and Wisconsin

In addition to the eleven online state encyclopedias we mentioned previously, we can now welcome the great states of Tennessee and Wisconsin into the digital fold.

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Today in History: The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King

mlk.jpg Forty years ago today, in the early evening hours, Dr. King, who the previous night had given a spell-binding speech in which he had stated –  “And so I’m happy tonight; I’m not worried about anything; I’m not fearing any man” –  was shot and killed on the balcony of a Memphis, Tennessee motel. As with pivotal moments in one’s life, we can remember where we were when this tragedy occurred.  To re-acquaint ourselves with the man and his ideas/ideals, the following can provide valuable insights into his life and times. A great place to start is with Taylor Branch’s magisterial trilogy: Parting the Waters, Pillar of Fire, and At Canaan’s Edge; all are available in the Library. Also, many of our proprietary databases contain volumes of information on Dr. King. For those who are inclined to surf the ‘net,  we suggest the following:  the BBC, the New York Times and the Atlanta Constitution have extensive reportage; the National Park Service has its own entry on Dr King; some of the FBI’s files on Dr King are available; the Department of Justice report on the assassination released in 2000 may also be perused; and many of Dr King’s writings, speeches, sermons, and portions of his autobiography are available from this Stanford University site.   “God still has a way of wringing good out of evil. And history has proven over and over again that unmerited suffering is redemptive.” –  Dr. Martin Luther King, Eulogy for the Martyred Children

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National Poetry Month

poetry-716522.gif April is National Poetry Month. Besides the THOUSANDS of books the Library has on this subject, there are more than a few sites that might interest you, gentle reader. Did you know that the United States has a Poet Laureate, or more correctly, The Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress who is appointed annually by the Librarian of Congress? Many states, too, have their own poets, New Jersey among them; of course, we had to be different. Find out about our state’s short-lived experiment with poetry here. Some of the more comprehensive sites for poetry are: Poets.org, containing over 500 authors with selected works arranged by poetic movements and schools;Poetry Archives, holding thousands of “classic”(predating 1900) poems by over 100 authors, among them Queen Elizabeth I no less; Modern American Poetry,  featuring biographies, interviews, critiques, and selected poems; UNESCO’s World Poetry Directory; Representative Poetry Online, featuring 3200 poems by 500 authors from Old English to the present; and an online journal of poetry – EPR(Electronic Poetry Review). Hundreds of essays on poetry can be found at the marvelous Bartleby site along with informative discourses from the highly vaunted Cambridge History of English and American Literature.

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