Archive for Exhibits

January 2014 Exhibit: The Struggle for Civil Rights

On January 20, 2014, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and work are celebrated.  The Erwin Library’s January book exhibit, now on display in the Reference area, highlights Dr. King’s contributions to the African American civil rights struggle within the comprehensive and ongoing fight to gain civil rights for workers, women, and other cultural and ethnic minorities in the United States.

In Going Down Jericho Road, Michael Honey looks at King’s personal and public experiences in the events surrounding the Memphis Strike and King’s final days. Readers may also gain inspiration from King’s famous quotations and speeches in The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn more about the events at Little Rock Central High School when the “Little Rock Nine” worked to break down the walls of segregation in Turn Away Thy Son by Elizabeth Jacoway. Take a more personal look at the effects of this momentous occasion in Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock by David Margolick, as he follows the lives of the two most prominent figures in the photograph from that famous day in Little Rock and their later reconciliation and friendship. Several volumes deal with school desegregation and its place in the Civil Rights Movement.

Other books on display also relate aspects of the African American experience in America during the Civil Rights Movement. A fascinating history containing copies of speeches, brochures, and other primary materials from the experience of Lewis Michaux, a bookseller in Harlem during the turbulent 1960s, No Crystal Stair deals with the creative and intellectual exchange taking place in the African American community. Covering events in the South, We Shall Not be Moved by M.J. O’Brien discusses the Jackson Woolworth’s Sit-In, its effects, and the life of Medgar Evers.

Find out more about the various groups still struggling to define their civil rights at the The Leadership Conference’s website, “the nation’s premier civil & human rights coalition.”  Many more books, streaming videos and online journal articles are available in the Erwin Library’s collections; the History of Civil Rights in the United States bibliography will provide a list and guide for your research.

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August 2013 Exhibit: Vicksburg and Gettysburg

Throughout the years of 2011-2015, the United States is observing the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War (1861-1865), a defining struggle, after which the country was forever changed.

Highlights of events commemorated in 2013 are the major battles of Gettysburg, fought in Pennsylvania during July 1-3, 1863, and Vicksburg, a campaign and siege which lasted from April 1862 to July 4, 1863 in Mississippi. The surrender of Vicksburg meant the loss to the Confederacy of a vital port on the Mississippi river, and cutting its territory in half. The defeat at Gettysburg marked the last attempt of the Confederacy to invade the northern states.

The victory at Vicksburg also brought General Ulysses Grant to the attention of, and eventual appointment by Abraham Lincoln to lead the Union armies. Thus began what is considered to be the final classic struggle of the two commanders who eventually met to determine the end of the war at Appomattox, Virginia in April, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Union General Ulysses S. Grant.

For more resources, please visit the Erwin Library’s book exhibit area and consult The American Civil War and Reconstruction bibliography, which contains many links to related periodicals and videos.

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June 2013 Exhibit: The Pulitzer Prizes

Hungarian-born journalist and newspaper magnate, Joseph Pulitzer believed that “our republic and its press will rise or fall together.  An able, disinterested, public-spirited press with trained intelligence to know the right and courage to do it can preserve that public virtue without which popular government is a sham and a mockery.” (North American Review, May 1904)

To honor courage and excellence in all forms of American publishing is the purpose of the Pulitzer Prizes awarded each year.  The first awards, provided for in Mr. Pulitzer’s will, were made in June 1917, in the midst of the turmoil of World War I.

Today, awards are made yearly for new publications in Biography or Autobiography, Drama, Fiction, General Nonfiction, History, Music, Poetry and, of course, in nearly twenty categories of Journalism, unless no publication in a category is determined to meet the standards of the prize for that year.

Many of these books are available now in the Erwin Library’s book exhibit displays for June 2013.  You may check one out and savor the joys of a truly well-written, intriguing piece of writing.  To find out more about the Pulitzer Prizes, their history, as well as all the winners and finalists, investigate The Pulitzer Prizes website, maintained by Columbia University.


May 2013 Exhibit: Asian Pacific-American Heritage Month

Designating the month of May as a time to honor the contributions of Americans of Asian-Pacific descent to the history and culture of the U.S. began in June 1977 with a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Week.  Another resolution was introduced soon afterwards, and, by October 5, 1978 a joint resolution made this an annual commemoration.

In 1992, an extension of the week to a month-long celebration was signed into law.  May was chosen since the first Japanese immigration to the U.S. occurred on May 7, 1843, and the transcontinental railroad was officially completed on May 10, 1869, built mainly by Chinese laborers.

Of course, the Asian-Pacific area includes not only Japan and China, but all of Asia, the Pacific islands of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia, producing an incredibly varied and fascinating melange of customs, art, and beliefs.

For more on current events marking this year’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, see the Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month website sponsored by the Library of Congress, or the Smithsonian Education Asian Pacific American Heritage Month website.

Find both fiction and non-fiction books for all ages by and about Asian-Pacific Americans in WCC’s Erwin Library book exhibit area on display all this month beside the Reference section.

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April 2013 Exhibit: National Poetry Month

Since 1996 April has been designated as National Poetry Month in the U.S.  Books now on display in the Erwin Library Reference Area are ready for you to check out and immerse yourself in poetry from all time periods and cultures.  From beautifully illustrated Children’s tales in verse, to ancient poems (in translation of course!) that tell of adventures and heroes.

If you need more poetry, sign up for a poem-a-day to be sent to your email by the Academy of American Poets.  You’ll find a new poem in your inbox each day, a contemporary, unpublished poem or a classical, historical one.  No one should live without poetry!


February 2013 Exhibit: Black History Month

The theme for Black History Month of 2013 is “At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality:  The Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington.”

Please visit the book exhibit for the month of February in the Erwin Library Reference display area.  Not only do these books give you more information about the Emancipation Proclamation, which reached its 150th anniversary on January 1, 2013, and the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, marking its 50th anniversary on August 28, 2013, but history and biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his poignant “I Have a Dream” speech delivered during the March, Rosa Parks, whose quiet defiance of Jim Crow laws on a Montgomery, Alabama bus began the civil rights movements of the twentieth century, and President Abraham Lincoln, whose determination to abolish slavery while reuniting the nation after civil war became the shining legacy of his life.

For all these book titles and their call numbers, as well as links to more web sites to explore, a “History of Civil Rights in the United States” is available on the Erwin Library webpage.  This rich history is intriguing and ongoing, so enjoy as you learn!

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December 2012 Exhibit: Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa

Every December people all over the world light candles to not only bring light, beauty and warmth into their lives, but to celebrate three major holidays:  Advent candles leading up to Christmas Day (December 25), Menorah lights for Hanukkah (December 8-16), and candles in the Kinara for Kwanzaa (December 26-January 1).

The Erwin Library joins in this illumination by offering a book exhibit in the Reference area with fiction and non-fiction titles about all aspects of each holiday, the cultural or religious significance, history, and traditional observances, as well as wonderful recipes and bright stories for all ages.

The Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza Bibliography on the library webpage gives complete information for finding many more books in the Erwin Library about these celebrations, along with a variety of fun as well as informative websites.


November 2012 Exhibit: Native American Heritage Month

Since 1990 in the United States, yearly proclamations have been issued designating November as Native American Heritage Month.  This year an Erwin Library book exhibit features non-fiction books about Native American groups and individuals, including histories, biographies, and other titles about the incredibly varied and rich culture of tribes across the years and North American continent.  Also featured are fiction books for all age levels, by writers of Native American descent.

Find a Native American History and Heritage Bibliography on the Erwin Library homepage, listing even more books with their call numbers that you can find here in your library.

To learn more about Native American Heritage, the month-long celebrations, as well as exhibits on the web from the Library of Congress, visit their website.  More information about Native American History in North Carolina can be found through the North Carolina Museum of History website, and the NCPedia website.

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October 2012 Exhibit: Teen Read Week

Teen Read Week occurs every October. This year’s Teen Read Week is October 14-20, with the theme It Came from the Library! The sponsor of TRW is the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).

Now in the Erwin Library’s newspaper exhibit area are books that celebrate the theme of Teen Read Week, including books about all types of monsters and other undesirable characters.

To learn more about teen reading as well as read some classic teen and young adult books, visit the Library of Congress’ teen reading site.


September 2012 Exhibit: Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is celebrated September 30 – October 6 this year. Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to read, and the importance of the First Amendment. It also highlights the benefits of free and open access to information, while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. The Erwin Library’s newspaper exhibit area highlights the books that have been banned over the past year, as well as books that have been banned through history.

The American Library Association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom has a webpage that discusses banned books and lists the hundreds of books that have been banned over the years. You can search by year or author.


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