Nine letters, two postcards from “Jerry” Salinger

Today on NPR’s Morning Edition, Susan Stamberg reported literary news that will please fans of the  author J. D. Salinger. Salinger’s most famous work, The Catcher in the Rye, narrated by disaffected teen Holden Caulfield, captured the imagination salinger-s-letters-to-sheard_wide-32c2ef4bd3d5b2953a09e22494c487c5c9450db6-s4-c85of millions of readers and became an enduring icon of America’s youth in the early 50s. A new documentary, Salinger, by filmmaker Shane Salerno, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman coming this fall and a companion book explore the life of the reclusive author who died in 2010. Stamberg also related the story of Salinger’s first adoring fan, Marjorie Sheard, in her twenties (as was Salinger), who wrote him to praise stories of his that she’d seen in Esquire and Collier’s magazines. The two corresponded from 1941 to 1943, and the nine letters and two postcards he wrote to her were sold to the Morgan Library in NY city which is currently showing the never-before displayed letters.

Barbara L.

Andrew Carnegie and his library legacy

Andrew CarnegieToday on NPR’s Morning Edition, Susan Stamberg offered the first in a series on the history and state of public libraries in the U.S. with this story on Andrew Carnegie, the man who is responsible for promoting the public library concept and providing millions to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country starting in 1903 with the $300,000 he donated for the Carnegie Library in Washington, D.C. It was one of the first public buildings, beautifully designed in the beaux arts style, and was especially noteworthy in that it was open to all– women and children and all races (an unusually progressive policy for the time).Evanston Carnegie library 1912

Evanston, too, benefited from Carnegie’s largesse. Our library (pictured at right) was built with a $50,000 grant on the corner of Orrington and Church Street in 1907. Read more about the history of our library here.

Barbara L.