Smithsonian Libraries 50th Birthday: A Tribute from 50 Great Authors!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian Libraries being united under one umbrella.
To celebrate this event in an exciting and original way, I invited fifty famous authors to say “Happy 50th Birthday” to the Smithsonian Libraries, and asked each to speak for a few minutes about why he or she loves libraries.
My wonderful ‘film crew’ were the co-producers of the late-great Sirius XM Book Channel: Kim Alexander and Maggie Linton. This year, we three together have had so much fun (and so many surprises) being first to hear the spontaneous recollections and heartfelt tributes of so many individual authors to their love of libraries.
I hope you enjoy these as much as we do! – Katherine Neville
Our first author is NY Times bestselling children’s book writer: Carmen Agra Deedy.
We met with Carmen in the reading room of the Cullman Library (Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library of Natural History), which houses the Smithsonian’s collection of rare books about anthropology and the natural sciences.
Click here to watch Carmen’s tribute on the Smithsonian’s website.
David discusses the amount of time he’s spent poring through library records for research, his personal efforts to build a public library in his community, and why libraries are a crucial “bastion of Democracy.”
Smithsonian Libraries and Me:
Eight years ago, I became the first author ever invited onto the Smithsonian Libraries’ Advisory Board. (We have 21 fabulous libraries, with millions of rare books – all hidden within each Smithsonian Museum and Research Center, from the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in NY, all the way to our Tropical Research Center at the Panama Canal. All these libraries and their books belong to us, the American People.)
I soon invited onto our board my friend, and library-loving author, Steve Berry, former co-president of the organization that we both helped found: International Thriller Writers. Over these past six years, Steve, his wife Elizabeth, and their ‘History Matters’ foundation, have raised money and visibility for the Smithsonian Libraries in myriad creative ways. (Steve wrote a book, The Lost Order, set in the Smithsonian Libraries and and they led a fundraising tour through the secret passages of the Smithsonian Castle.)