Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Bliss-ful reading opportunity!

Okay, that was a REALLY bad pun, but I just couldn't resist taking the opportunity to tell you about our Witherspoon-Bliss collection. It's currently on display in a bookcase near the front stairs on the second floor, and it will be for the rest of the week. The collection represents a selection of works by some of the best American and British authors of the modern era.

These books are the result of a generous donation by Alice Witherspoon Bliss to purchase books in memory of her mother, Evelyn Lee Witherspoon (1896-1987). Mrs. Witherspoon had a strong commitment to education, having taught first grade in the Atlanta city schools from 1917 to 1945. Ms. Bliss stipulated that the donation be used to purchase books by American and British authors.

Technical services librarian Joel Langford says the first items he ordered using the donation were new copies of the works of Shakespeare. After that, Joel used lists of the best American and British novels and award-winners.

"Of course we owned many of these award-winning and 'best' books already, but there were a number of ones we did not own," Joel says. "Once those were purchased, I concentrated on Georgia and Southern literature. After purchasing a good representative [collection] of Southern lit, I purchased some science fiction novels and short stories and some Native American literature."

All in all, Ms. Bliss's donation bought about 175 books for our collection, by such authors as Win Blevins, Pat Conroy, Philip K. Dick, E.L. Doctorow, Ferrol Sams, Mary Lee Settle, Neal Stephenson, Alice Walker, John Cheever and John Updike, among many others.

Next week, these books will be put in the general collection, so I urge you to stop by this week and peruse these books. They will still be available to check out after this week, of course, but this is your last chance to see them all together in one convenient location. Don't miss it!

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