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Ben Franklin statue.jpgToday is your last chance to reserve your spot at the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation's 25th-annual Benjamin Franklin Awards Celebration dinner to be held Thursday, October 24 at Central Library, 814 W. Wisconsin Ave., starting at 5:15 p.m. This year's honorees are Mark and Debbie Attanasio.
Patron tickets are $250 each, individual tickets are $100 and Friends of MPL members are $85. To make your reservation, please call 414-286-3784 or email today, October 15th.
"The philanthropic and outreach work of the Attanasios, both here in Milwaukee and across the country, particularly the emphasis on education, personifies the ideals the Milwaukee Public Library holds as fundamental to the health and well-being of our community," said Milwaukee Public Library director Paula Kiely. "Both Brewers Community Foundation and Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club, with generous support of the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, have enabled literacy programs throughout Milwaukee. "
The award celebration will include remarks by Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee Public Library Director Paula Kiely, Milwaukee Public Library Foundation board chair Arthur Harrington and the honorees, as well as "A Taste of Central Library," an elegant dinner reception featuring a menu of literary-inspired delicacies in a beautiful Neo-Renaissance setting and surrounded by millions of books and historic collections.
Proceeds from this event strengthen the resources of the Milwaukee Public Library Foundation, enabling it to support and enhance the library collections, technology, programming and facilities. For reservations, please call (414) 286-3784, or email

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And The Pulitzer Goes To.......

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389px-Poster_-_Gone_With_the_Wind_01.jpg On this day in 1937, Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With the Wind" won the Pulitzer Award for fiction. The book was first published in 1936 and was an immediate besteller. The novel depicts the life of Scarlett O'Hara, a daughter of a wealthy plantation owner as she wrestles with love and poverty during the Reconstruction era. According to a 2008 Harris Poll, "Gone With the Wind" is the nation's 2nd most popular book after the Bible. A wildly popular film adaption of the book was realeased in 1939 starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh. Love it or hate it, "Gone With the Wind" remains one of the best loved books in America.

For those who want a different view of Southern life during Reconstruction, try Alice Randall's parody "The Wind Done Gone" which tells the story of Scarlett's enslaved half-sister.

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Philip Levine Named U.S. Poet Laureate

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On August 10th the Library of Congress announced the appointment of Philip Levine as the 18th Poet Laureate. Philip Levine was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1928 to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents. After graduating from Wayne State University, Levine worked a number of industrial jobs, including the night shift at the Chevrolet Gear and Axle factory. He is a Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award winner.

Check out the Library of Congress' Philip Levine Web Guide for more information on the new Poet Laureate. Click here to view a complete list of Philip Levine's work available at the Milwaukee Public Library.

Here Levine reads "Bell Isle, 1949".

"Belle Isle, 1949" from They Feed They Lion and The Names of the Lost by Philip Levine, copyright ©1999 by Philip Levine.

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Award Winning Books for Children and Teens

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youthawards.jpgIn January the American Library Association announced the 2011 Youth Media Award winners. The awards recognize original and creative works in children's and young adult literature and media. Check out these outstanding titles at the Milwaukee Public Library today!

  • John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature, Moon over Manifest written by Clare Vanderpool.
  • Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children, A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead.
  • Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults, Ship Breaker written by Paolo Bacigalupi.
  • Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults, One Crazy Summer written by Rita Williams-Garcia.
  • Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults, Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave illustrated by Bryan Collier.
  • Pura Belpré Award honoring a Latino writer whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience, The Dreamer written by Pam Muñoz Ryan.
Click here for more information on the 2011 Youth Media Award winners.

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Milwaukee is a Top Walking City

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person walkingAccording to Prevention Magazine's annual survey with the American Podiatric Medical Association and Sperling's Best Places, Milwaukee ranks number 15 of the 25 best walking cities in the U.S. The survey points to the downtown RiverWalk as the reason Milwaukee did so well on the list.

To see how your own neighborhood ranks in terms of walkability check out the Walk Score Website. Type in your address to calculate your neighborhood's walking score and to view a list of places within walking distance.

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Know a Talented Teen?

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Celebrating Teens.jpgNow that students are getting settled into the new school year I thought it would be a good time to highlight the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. These awards are given every year by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, which is a nonprofit organization with the mission of "identifying teenagers with artistic and literary talent." Teens in grades 7-12 are eligible and awards range from scholarships to recognition to exhibition and publication.

There are 30 different categories including comic art, drawing, fashion, film & animation, photography, jewelry, short story and video games. From what I can tell most of the deadlines are set for early next year, so there is time, but you need to go to their Website and put in your school's zip code to confirm your deadlines.

I would also like to mention how inspiring it is to look through the National Catalogs of the 2009 and 2010 award winners. After viewing the amazing work of so many of America's teens it's clear we are surrounded by very talented young people.

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Teen Poetry Slam!

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Are you a teen that loves to write poetry? Or do you simply love the rhythm and flow of a particular poem and wish to share it with the world? Aspiring teen poets are encouraged to attend the 2010 Teen Poetry Slam, sponsored by the Helen Bader Foundation, at the Washington Park Library on Wednesday, April 28 at 5:30 p.m.

You can give a dramatic preformance of your original work or the work of someone that inspires you. The first 40 performers will receive a prize, and the winners of the Young Adult Poetry Contest will be announced at this event.

If you have any questions, or need more information, you can call 286-3011.

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