The ALA Public Programs Office toured 11 traveling exhibitions to 123 public, academic, and special libraries, reaching an estimated audience of more than 46,000 library patrons through related programs. The following exhibitions continue their tours in 2011:
- “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World”
- “Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln’s Journey to Emancipation”
- “Changing the Face of Medicine: Celebrating America’s Women Physicians”
- “John Adams Unbound”
- “Lewis & Clark and the Indian Country”
- “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War”
- “Pride and Passion: The African American Baseball Experience”
- “Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery”
Additionally, five new traveling exhibitions were announced, and two currently traveling exhibitions received additional support to extend their reach.
Three new traveling exhibitions were developed by the ALA Public Programs Office and Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas. The national tours of the exhibitions have been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life. From May 2011 through February 2012, 108 libraries will host one of these three exhibitions for a period of six weeks:
- “In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak”
Based on a major retrospective exhibition created by the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia, this exhibition reveals the push and pull of New and Old Worlds in Sendak’s work and shows how Sendak’s artistic journey has led him deeper into his own family’s history and his Jewish identity.
- “Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience”
In this exhibition, a vital woman is brought to life in all her fascinating complexity. Viewers see Lazarus's place in history as a poet, an activist, and a prophet of the world we live in today. The exhibition traces her life, intellectual development, work and lasting influence.
- “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910–1965”
Illustrated with colorful posters from Broadway shows and photographs of composers, singers, and the casts of hit musicals and films, this exhibition highlights the lives and works of Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, and a host of other Jewish songwriters who wove the American songbook deep into the fabric of American culture.
Forty public and academic libraries will host “Manifold Greatness: The Creation and Afterlife of the King James Bible,” a new traveling exhibition developed by the ALA Public Programs Office and the Folger Shakespeare Library with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The exhibition will travel from September 2011 through July 2013. Based on an exhibition of the same name developed by the Folger Shakespeare Library and the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, with assistance from the Harry Ransom Center of the University of Texas, the traveling exhibition tells the story of the origins, creation, and impact of the King James Bible, including its influence on English and American literature and its multifaceted impact on culture and society to the present day.
The ALA Public Programs Office, in partnership with the National Center for Interactive Learning, the Space Science Institute, the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the National Girls Collaborative Project, announced that 10 public libraries will host an interactive traveling exhibition called “Discover Earth: A Century of Change” for a period of eight weeks from January 2012 to December 2013. The “Discover Earth” exhibition will focus on local earth science topics—such as weather, water cycle and ecosystem changes—as well as a global view of our changing planet.
Two hundred sites, including libraries, museums, community centers, heritage organizations, and institutions of higher learning, will host “Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War,” an exhibition developed in partnership with the National Constitution Center with support from NEH. The exhibition will visit each site for a period of six weeks from August 2011 through December 2015. Following the positive response to the ongoing tour of 50 public, academic, and special libraries, funding from NEH will support the expansion of this exhibition tour to reach 200 communities through libraries and other centers for community learning.
“Visions of the Universe: Four Centuries of Discovery” is a traveling exhibition developed in cooperation with the Space Telescope Science Institute Office of Public Outreach and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory to celebrate astronomy and its contributions to society and culture. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration provided major funding for the panel display. Fifty-five public libraries hosted the exhibition from January 2009 through May 2011, showing the public how our understanding of the universe has changed over time. The exhibition will travel to the nine additional selected libraries from September 2011 through June 2012.