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My boss Betsy

As a student, I only knew Betsy Hearne from her occasional swanning in to talk to Zena about her dissertation in progress, a history and analysis of “Beauty and the Beast,” from Cupid and Psyche to Robin McKinley*. Betsy was then children’s book editor of Booklist, where she had been reviewing since 1968. But everyone […]

My friend Hazel

I met Hazel Rochman when I was Zena’s assistant and Hazel was a member of her Advisory Committee for The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books: Hazel, Isabel McCaul, Yolanda Federici, Ellin Greene, and Bob Strang. Every Wednesday afternoon this gang would come over and read the freaking twenty-something reviews Zena had written that week and […]

My teacher Zena

Behold, in the photograph at left, an embodiment of the phrase dimples of iron. If Louise was the one who led me to children’s librarianship, Zena Sutherland gave me my focus on children’s books. I hadn’t even intended to take her class, but my friend Marybeth convinced me it would be fun to take together. […]

Roger’s ALA 2017

My ALA began on a sad note when, while Richard and I were on the way to the airport, Martha texted to tell me that Robin Smith had died. This is such a loss – I knew no one as good as Robin at connecting children and books. I saw it in her many years […]

ALA Attire

The worst thing about the days leading up to ALA is the wardrobe issue. You’re saving all the good (well, better) stuff for Conference and you wear rags to work. Those V-neck t-shirts you bought by mistake. The socks that used to be purple but are now decidedly pink. Don’t look at me. But I […]

Zena’s Night

After the Sutherland Lecture committee meeting on Friday afternoon, committee member and CPL Director of Children’s and YA services Liz McChesney gave us a tour of the soon-to-open new Thomas Hughes Children’s Library. I remember the old-old one in the Cultural Center as wonderfully shadowy, but this new one is bright and big and bold […]

Some writer, artist, friend!

I hope you’ll join me for the 2017 Zena Sutherland Lecture, to be held on Friday, May 5 at 7:30PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Our lecturer is the wonderful Melissa Sweet; her chosen topic is “To Inform and Delight: The Elements of Story.” Tickets are free but you gotta reserve your […]

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!

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 […]