Grants and Acquisitions

Ann-Christe Galloway

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The North Carolina State University (NCSU) Libraries has been awarded a grant to tackle how best to capture and save the increasingly critical but ephemeral social media conversations that now regularly document our lives and times. The EZ Innovation Grant from the State Library of North Carolina will enable librarians Jason Casden and Brian Dietz to lead a team to develop a freely available web toolkit to help guide institutions that preserve our cultural heritage by collecting and curating the primary documents that are the raw materials of history. Increasingly these materials are created and shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. But since few institutions are systematically saving these conversations, much of our current history’s raw material is quickly and irrevocably disappearing as quickly as it is produced. And while tools to save these materials are becoming more sophisticated and less expensive, very little has been done to help libraries and others deploy them in thoughtful, effective ways. The toolkit will also include materials to help other cultural heritage institutions design and document criteria for what they collect and strategies to begin collecting social media. These materials will include a scan of work being done in the area, a risk assessment for potential legal concerns, and a discussion of the impact of social media on archival research. The social media toolkit is planned for release in Summer 2015.


The papers of Mo Willems—author, illustrator, and award-winning creator of some of the most beloved characters in contemporary children’s literature—have been acquired by Yale University. Willems’ original sketches, notebooks, and book drafts will join a growing archive at Yale University documenting the reading and imaginative lives of American children. Willems, 46, began writing for children as a staff writer for “Sesame Street,” where he spent nine years and earned six Emmy Awards. His first publication for children—Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!— was named a Caldecott Honor Book in 2004. Since then, he has created a cast of memorable characters that have made him one of the most recognized talents in the world of children’s literature. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, another Caldecott Honor Book, has been made into a stage musical, and the Elephant and Piggie series has been praised by Kirkus Reviews for its “snappy pacing and wry humor.” The New York Times Book Review has placed the Pigeon in “the pantheon of great picture book characters.” The archive thus far consists of a selection of notebooks in which Willems works through book ideas, manuscript “dummy” books for several Elephant and Piggie titles (including the original artwork for I am Invited to a Party!), notes, drafts, and production material for the premiere production of “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical”; storyboards for animated series; early notebooks (published as You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons); and copies of all his published books up to 2012. Future additions will add archival material related to other well-loved books and papers documenting his career at “Sesame Street.”

Mo Willems. Photo credit: Marty Umans
Copyright 2014© American Library Association

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