We are rejuvenated today after a stellar Follett Lecture by Janice Del Negro last night: “The All-White World of Children’s Librarianship: Baker, Rollins, and the Quest for Diversity.” Janice’s call to action for all of us is #radicalinclusivity.
The Butler Center seeks to achieve this in all aspects of our collections and programming, not least through our selections for B3, which we try hard to ensure will include books by, for, and about a broad spectrum of our population.
To forge change, good intentions are not enough. Action is needed!
Butler Book Banter (B3)
This month’s B3 takes place Wednesday, April 20. Since April is National Poetry Month, we’re having an “Open Call” poetry-themed evening! Bring your favorite books of poetry (collections or single-poem titles) for kids and teens, new or backlist, and share them with colleagues from 6-7 p.m. Refreshments are always served at B3, and there is no registration required.
This is our last B3 of the academic year. We haven’t traditionally held them in the summer; are you interested? If so, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
Why All the Owls?
You may have noticed a parliament of owls either in the Butler Children’s Literature Center or individually accompanying a book cover photo on our #DailyButlerShelfie Facebook posts. The Butler Center graduate assistants are even holding owls in their blog post introduction. So, what’s with all of the owls?
In 2012, the Butler Center was bequeathed with a generous collection of African American children’s literature and over 500 owl figurines from the Effie Lee Morris estate. Ms. Morris was a pioneer, African American librarian and throughout her career she advocated for children’s service in public libraries.
The owl became Ms. Morris’ personal symbol based upon the New York Herald Tribune column by Anne Carroll Moore titled, “The Three Owls”. Quoted in African American Librarians in the Far West: Pioneers and Trailblazers by Binnie Tate Wilkin (Scarecrow, 2006), Ms. Morris says of the owls: “Everyone who has ever worked in the New York Public Library knows the story of Anne Carroll Moore, the first children’s coordinator, and the owls. Ms. Moore, the first person to write reviews of children’s books for the Herald Tribune, was asked for a title for her column—’The Three Owls’ whom she named the author, the illustrator, and the critic. I added one more owl, ‘the reader,’ always wearing the fourth owl above my heart. My collection has grown hugely as almost every gift I’ve received since 1963 has been an owl in some form. And I always wear owl jewelry and my hats, which I love”.
To share in the spirit of Ms. Morris’ commitment to children and children’s literature, the Butler Center has adopted the owl as its official symbol. A display case in the Butler Center exhibits a portion of this collection on a rotating basis. Take a look at this remarkable assortment of figurines the next time you visit us!
Happy 100th Birthday Beverly Cleary
It’s always gratifying to see children’s literature-related news in the general media. Mrs. Cleary certainly deserves the attention for her remarkable achievements over the past century! Butler Center Curator Diane Foote was quoted in the Chicago Tribune on Monday April 11, talking about Mrs. Cleary’s significance and legacy.
We’re Back from Bologna with New International Books
Come by to peruse the new set of internationally published children’s books selected for the Center by students during the travel course to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in Italy this month.
We’ve got a beautifully illustrated version of Gift of the Magi in Italian, a large-format paperback picture book about colors and animals in Japanese and English, a book about puns in Arabic, a remarkable pop-up book with built-in sensory features and raised Braille text, a book of haiku in French, and many more!
The Butler Center is located in the Rebecca Crown Library, room 214, on Dominican’s main campus at 7900 W. Division Street in River Forest, Illinois. Directions and a campus map are available here.
We hope you’ll want to visit us (open hours M-F 1-6), or join us for an event this spring, and stay tuned about our news and upcoming events. Please contact me with any questions you have. I look forward to seeing you soon!