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The 2016 Zena Sutherland Lecture with Marilyn Nelson

You should totally come to this. Marilyn Nelson gave one of the best speeches I ever heard on the occasion of her winning the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award in 2001 for Carver. I hope I see you in Chicago on May 6th.

She’ll be swell, she’ll be great!

Carla Hayden

I am over the moon about President Obama’s nomination of Carla D. Hayden to the position of Librarian of Congress. Carla and I were buddies back in Chicago–we met when she was YA coordinator at CPL and I interviewed her for a paper I was writing for library school, and later I worked for her […]

Jack and Hazel


WHY I have to go to Chicago to see Jack Gantos when he lives only a mile away from my office is a question I’ll happily ignore to hear his Zena Sutherland Lecture at the Chicago Public Library tomorrow night. Join us if you can; otherwise you can read Jack’s speech in the Horn Book this […]

A true Dutch treat


I hope you jumped on those Sutherland Lecture tickets yesterday because they are gone baby gone–I understand that even the waiting list is full. A big fan of John Green’s books, I am nevertheless nervous about being in an auditorium filled with John Green Girls, beautiful, complicated and ka-razy creatures that they are. Or do […]

John Green Sutherland lecture

Tickets are now available for the 2014 Zena Sutherland Lecture by John Green. Friday, May 2, 7:30 PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in sweet home Chicago. Admission is free but tickets are required, and only two to a customer. Get em now if you want to go and I’ll see you there.

Moving Moment No. 10


  Stop me if you’ve heard this one from me before, but when I was a student in Zena’s children’s lit course (along with your friend and mine, Elizabeth), she devoted one class to discussing review journals, aka her Rivals. Booklist got some love because her star student, Betsy Hearne, was then the children’s book […]

Moving moment No. 6


Ooh, who remembers this one? In 1982, the library systems of Chicago, Milwaukee, and San Francisco banned Margot Zemach’s Jake and Honeybunch Go to Heaven from their collections (Chicago, from where I followed the whole story avidly, did include it in its two regional research libraries). Unlike the headlines, still popular today, that too-loosely use […]

ALA Chicago, Booth #1416


Off tomorrow to my, what, 35th? ALA annual conference, and hope to see some of you there. Our booth is #1416, but I’ll be wandering the exhibit halls, mainly, drumming up business with Al Berman while Martha P. scouts the programming (she’s at the Caldecott pre-conference today, lucky girl). One non-work event I’m looking forward […]

2013 Zena Sutherland Lecturer Linda Sue Park

Zena Sutherland 2013 Flyer

 Linda Sue Park is delivering the 2013 Zena Sutherland Lecture on May 3rd at the Harold Washington Center, Chicago Public Library. Admission is free but reservations are required; go to to sign up. I’ll be there and hope you will be too!

Strike that

busted cat cute

The Chicago teachers’ strike is reminding me of one of the more embarrassing moments of my professional career. I was working at Chicago Public Library  as the manager of a small branch on the North Side, and there was a teacher’s strike. According to the news, CPL was offering alternative programming for children at all […]