First-ever Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction have been awarded

The American Library Association, long noted for its revered, prestigious awards for children's books (Newbery, Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Printz, Alex, to name a few), has entered the adult field.

Yesterday, at their annual conference in Anaheim, CA, ALA gave the nod to adult writers in the organization's first AndrewCarnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. This honor is bestowed on the best nonfiction and fiction titles published in the previous year.

Anne Enright received her medal and cash prize for her novel, The Forgotten Waltz, a lyrical novel of adultery between two deeply flawed Irish citizens and the fallout on both of their families. Enright won the 2007 Man Booker Prize for The Gathering.

Robert K. Massie captured the nonfiction category for his riveting biography, Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. Massie, who is THE preeminent biographer of Russian czars (he won the 1981 Putlizer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for his seminal Peter the Great, His Life and World. In Catherine, Massie's edge-of-the-seat storytelling gifts bring to life this fascinating historical figure, from her roots as a minor German princess to her enormous influence on Russia.

Public lists for the winners and finalists of this award have been created here:

winners

finalists

Youth Historical Novel: "The Lions of Little Rock"

While researching The Lions of Little Rock, author Kristin Levine zeroed in on 1958 when Little Rock, Arkansas, was starting to react to forced integration of the public schools. By setting her novel at that time, she gives it a compelling undertone, as readers witness the governor closing the high schools and citizens forming groups such as the Women's Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools (WEC).

This historical novel for youth offers dynamic characters and plot, starring painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee. Readers will be moved when Marlee bids good-bye to her beloved older sister who is sent away for high school. Left at home, Marlee struggles to make friends, when suddenly an unexpected friendship with a new girl, Liz, boosts her confidence and helps her to understand where she stands in the fight against racism. I found Levine's book informative, warm, and highly entertaining. Reviews have been strongly positive, including this from the New York Times Book Review: ". . . Satisfying, gratifying, touching, weighty — this authentic piece of work has got soul." Levine also wrote The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had, an American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults.

Heritage Quest

Interested in finding historical records for your ancestors? Ancestry.com not doing the trick? Try Heritage Quest. This database contains images of federal censuses, thousands of family and local histories, and millions of other historical articles and documents. You can also use Heritage Quest to search for individuals in Freedman’s Bank, which was founded to provide services to newly emancipated African-Americans. Explore your family history!

Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access Heritage Quest, go to the research page, and select Heritage Quest from the Genealogy category.

Documentary Filmmaker, Digital Historian And Archive Team Founder Jason Scott Discusses Preservation Activism

Wednesday May 23, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

There's a lot of information floating around on the Web - can it be saved from distinction and obscurity? Discover how digital information is preserved and archived when Jason Scott visits the AADL. Jason is the founder of the Archive Team, a loose collective of rogue archivists, programmers, writers and loudmouths dedicated to saving our digital heritage.

At this special event, Jason will discuss the Archive Team's efforts to preserve early Internet content from extinction. He will also screen and discuss a lost episode from his 2010 film Get Lamp: The Text Adventure Documentary.

Amazon: Bestsellers in Teen Books

When the movie "Abraham Lincoln : Vampire Hunter" hits theaters June 22, I will not be in line. But with the Kindle book currently #12 on Amazon's list of bestselling teen books, I became curious about the story. So I read this summary from IMDb: "Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, discovers vampires are planning to take over the United States. He makes it his mission to eliminate them." Okay, sorry, still not planning to see the movie, although I'm interested in the book and author Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote How to survive a horror movie: All the skills to dodge the kills.

Preserving Your Digital Photos With Archivist Lance Stuchell

Saturday April 28, 2012: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Learn how to ensure that your family's cherished digital photos are secure from loss, damage, changing technology or electronic equipment failure when archive specialist Lance Stuchell visits AADL for this informative presentation. All technical skill levels are welcome.

Lance Stuchell is the Digital Project Archivist at the Henry Ford's Benson Ford Research Center. He will explain how digital preservation lessons learned in the archive library profession can be applied by the home user to help secure family's photographic legacies.

Detroit Free Press, Historical Database (1831-1922)

Explore Detroit's history through the eyes of the major city newspaper:

MT. ELLIOTT CEMETERY. CONSECRATION OF A CATHOLIC BURIAL GROUND. -- Detroit Free Press, Dec. 10, 1865, Page 1.

J. L. Hudson Celebrates the Anniversary of His Establishment in the Clothing Business. -- Detroit Free Press, Mar 31, 1882, Page 6.

VERNOR TO RESCUE: Brings His Ginger Ale to Council Meeting. THIRSTY ALDERMEN REJOICE -- Detroit Free Press, Aug. 22, 1906, Page 6

SEVERE TEST FOR THE NEW FORD MACHINE: Makes 1,357-Mile Tour on 67 Gallons of Gasoline and Not One Adjustment -- Detroit Free Press, Oct 11, 1908, Page 20

What an incredible resource we have in this database. AADL patrons have full-text access to articles and full-page images from over 90 years of Detroit newspapers. These articles cover Detroit and Michigan, as well as national news from 1831-1922, and provide citations for students wishing to use them as primary resources. Genealogists will enjoy the special obituary search option, and historians will love being able to peruse this treasure trove of information.
Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access the Detroit Free Press Historical Database, go to the Newspapers page, and select Detroit Free Press Historical (1831-1922).

"It Was Twenty Years Ago Today..I'd Love To Turn You On" - Jim Leonard Discusses Meaning, Memory And Marijuana In Sgt. Pepper

Tuesday April 17, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Forty-five years ago, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to an anxious world. Called "the greatest rock album," "the greatest pop album," "the greatest concept album," and simply "the greatest album" of all time, it is an art work, an artifice, and an artifact. But what does it mean?

Jim Leonard, freelance musicologist, takes his best shot at an answer at this event and promises that "A splendid time is guaranteed for all." This event is co-sponsored by the Michigan Theater and held in conjunction with their April 21 concert - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Performed By THE FAB FAUX.

Video: Shipwreck Survivor Pierette Domenica Simpson

If you missed last night's talk with author and shipwreck survivor, Pierette Domenica Simpson, watch this video from her visit last year. Pierette shares her up-close and personal account of surviving the most catastrophic ship collision in history between the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm, in July of 1956, when she was 9 years old. Check out or place a hold for her new young adult novel: "I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria: The Titanic of the 1950s."

Titanic Centennial Event: Meet A Shipwreck Survivor

Monday April 16, 2012: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

It's the centennial of the sinking of the Titanic. Learn about another amazingly catastrophic shipwreck - the 1956 collision of the SS Andrea Doria and the MS Stockholm - from a very personal viewpoint - - that of a SHIPWRECK SURVIVOR.

Pierette Domenica Simpson returns to AADL to share her personal and harrowing account of this traumatic event. She is the only survivor in history to write a complete account of the disaster, "Alive on the Andrea Doria!: The Greatest Sea Rescue in History." Her new young adult novel is "I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria: The Titanic of the 1950s." Books will be for sale and this event will also include a book signing.

This event is for adults and teens (grade 6 and up).

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