By Okon Ekpenyong
Columbus Metropolitan Library is partnering with the Columbus Museum of Art and NBC 4 to launch an Author Book Series featuring seven authors to commemorate its 150th anniversary on March 4, 2023. Over a hundred people attended the kick-off event on Sunday, February 19, at the Downtown Library on Grant Avenue to hear Leonard Marcus, a renowned curator, historian, author, speaker, and advocate for children’s books.
The Director of Marketing at Columbus Metropolitan Library, Gregg Dogg, joked before introducing the Author that the Library is older than Coca-Cola, celebrating its 136th birthday on May 8. Sesquicentennial celebrations will begin on the Library’s campuses on March 4, and the public is encouraged to attend their local branch on that day.
Leonard Marcus, Yale Graduate has authored more than 25 books, and he is a professor at New York University at the School of Visual Arts. He amazes the audience by describing some of the characters and storylines behind his published works; for instance, Helen Oxenbury: A life in illustration, 100 years of children’s book posters, and the ABC of it, why children’s books matter.
Marcus is the founding trustee of the Eric Carle Museum; Leonard also curated the landmark exhibition The ABC of It: Why Children’s Books Matter at the NY Public Library. His latest book is the biography Mr. Lincoln Sits for His Portrait, a young people’s book. Among his other works is Margaret Wise Brown: Awakened by the Moon, Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom, and You Can’t Say That.
Having published over 25 award-winning books, he discussed his friendship with Maurice Sendak, the creator of Where the Wild Things Are, which transformed children’s literature and our understanding of childhood.
Leonard S. Marcus also discussed how critical children’s literature and popular culture are to the global development of children’s thoughts, actions, and learning. In addition to publishing his books, the Author advocates for other authors who create children’s literature and help the kids explore their imaginations.
“In times like these, children’s books can help reassure the children that they are not alone and help other kids who may not be in the same position to understand what’s happening around them and on a global level,” Author Leonard Marcus said. Marcus also noted that the world could be better if children in one country could read stories from another and learn what other people think and how they overcame adversity.
Columbus Museum of Arts:
The Columbus Museum of Art’s Deputy Director of Learning and Experience, Cindy Meyers Foley, gave electrifying closing remarks regarding the powers ups’ attempt to eliminate vital children’s books from the reading category.
“Now, with the recent book-banning epidemic that’s going on nationwide, we value children’s art and the stories they tell.” Foley later thanked Leonard Marcus for being the first Author to kick off the series and helping the children and parents see that so clearly. Foley urges everyone to continue supporting children’s books and their contributions to society.
Foley thanked NBC4 for working with the Library to make the book series fun and possible. “We’ve just adopted a new mission statement, tenable creative, courageous imagination. It’s the work we’re doing internally, and it will also engage the courageous imagination we all need,” Foley said.
The Columbus Museum of Art also has a few exhibitions that Foley recommends the public visit and explore. On Sundays, the museum has free General Admission, but there’s a ten dollars fee for the monthly exhibition that the museum showcase. However, Foley mentioned that the Columbus Metropolitan Library started a Culture Pass Program roughly two years ago for Columbus Metropolitan Library Cardholders to enjoy some free peeks.
“CML customers can borrow passes just like they would book from the Culture Pass program: they use their library cards, and they are one-time passes that must be checked out in person, allowing them limited free access to institutions that would otherwise charge admission fees,” according to the Library’s website.
The exhibition Foley mentioned is “Wild Things Are Happening: The Art of Maurice Sendak,” which will begin in October 2022 and conclude on March 5, 2023. Also, Think outside the Brick: Creative Art of Lego, which opened in October 2022 and will run until February 24, 2023, and Greater Columbus: the 2023 Greater Columbus Arts Council Visual Arts Award Exhibitions and Was it your trigger finger, which opened in February 2023, will both be showing until August 6, 2023, but you can check out other exhibits by visiting the museum’s website.
Here are the Current participating cultural organizations accepting the Cultural Pass Program:
* Columbus Museum of Art: Passes available at all 23 CML locations
* Columbus Zoo and Aquarium: Passes available at CML’s Main Library and Barnett, Driving Park, Franklinton, Hilltop, Karl Road, Linden, Marion-Franklin, Martin Luther King, Northern Lights, Northside, Parsons, Shepard, and Whitehall branches
* Franklin Park Conservatory: Passes available at CML’s Driving Park, Martin Luther King and Shepard branches
* National Veterans Memorial and Museum: Passes available at CML’s Main Library and Barnett, Franklinton, Martin Luther King, and Parsons branches
* Ohio History Center: Passes available at CML’s Karl Road, Linden, Northern Lights, and Northside branches
* Pizzuti Collection of the Columbus Museum of Art: Passes available at all 23 CML locations
- * Wexner Center for the Arts: Passes are available at all 23 CML locations
Other authors for the The Library’s Sesquicentennial Author Series to commemorate its 150th anniversary include:
- Sunday, March 5 | 2 p.m. Julia Quinn, Author of the Bridgerton Series.
- Wednesday, April 26 | 7 p.m. Friends & Fiction– Four Bestselling Authors. Endless Stories.
- Sunday, August 13 | 2 p.m. Donte Woods Spikes, Author of So Long
- Sunday, September 24 | 2 p.m. Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Author of The Daughter of Doctor Moreau
- Sunday, October 8 | 2 p.m. Saeed Jones, Author of Alive at the end of the World Sunday, December 10 | 2 p.m. Jason Mott, Author of Hell of a Book
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