Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jack Dempsey Joins Clarke Board of Governors

by Frank Boles

Since 1956, the Clarke Historical Library has operated with a Board of Governors. The Board plays an important role in the library’s operation, with a definition of the Board’s formal authority vested in an agreement signed by Central Michigan University and the Clarke family. The Board’s influence, however, goes beyond the letter of the agreement, to include a wide-ranging advisory capacity which helps to determine the library’s mission, collecting policy, outreach activities, and the other aspects of library operations.

At its April 2016 meeting, the Clarke Historical Library Board of Governors recommended to the CMU Board of Trustees that John “Jack” Dempsey be elected to serve a five year term on the Clarke Board.

Jack Dempsey is an avid historian, two-term President of the Michigan Historical Commission, and award-winning author. His writing focuses on the Civil War, the history of Michigan, and cultural heritage. His co-authored book Ink Trails: Michigan’s Famous and Forgotten Authors, was named a Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan in 2013.

Mr. Dempsey’s book presentations have been featured at the Henry Ford, the Historical Society of Michigan, the Kerrytown Book Fest, historical museums, public libraries, Civil War round tables, in schools, and on public television and radio, as well as here at Central Michigan University.

Jack has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Michigan State University and a law degree from George Washington University. His legal career includes service as a Law Review editor, Assistant Attorney General, and corporate general counsel. Jack is a partner in the Ann Arbor office of Dickinson Wright PLLC.

He lives in Plymouth, Michigan.

At the same meeting of the Clarke Historical Library Board of Governors, Sandra Planisek was elected to serve as the Board’s chair during calendar year 2016. She and Michael Federspiel will join the executive committee, which also includes Norman Clarke, III and CMU President George Ross. Additional elected Board members include Susan Clarke and Robert Kohrman. In addition to the President, the ex-officio members are Frank Boles, Director of the Clarke Library, Mitchell Hall, Chair of the CMU History Department, and Thomas Moore, Dean of CMU Libraries.

Mr. Dempsey replaced Kenneth Winter, a past editor of the Petoskey News-Review, who retired from the Board after completing a five year term of service. Other past elected members have included the well-known political philosopher Dr. Russell Kirk, former United States Senator and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Griffin, former Archivist of the United States Robert Warner, Grand Rapids’ longest serving mayor, John Logie, and the co-chairman and CEO of Meijer, Inc. Hank Meijer.

Two years after the Clarke Historical Library was founded, Central Michigan College and the Clarke family agreed to create a ten-person Board of Governors. The Board membership consists of a representative of the Clarke family, five members who are selected by the Board itself, subject to confirmation by the CMU Board of Trustees (the University’s governing body) and four ex officio members: the President of the University, the Dean of Libraries, the chair of the History Department, and the Director of the Clarke Historical Library (although the Director is in some documents referred to as the “Custodian,” which sometimes gives me pause about the true nature of my job).

The criteria for selected members elected to the Board states that members should be “persons who are collectors of original historical materials or are interested in or associated with historical research in American History and who have demonstrated a dedicated interest in history.”

Friday, April 29, 2016

Film Projectors at the Clarke


By Marian Matyn

     I am thrilled to report that we now have 2 working Eiki slim line film projectors in the Clarke, transferred from another unit in the library, where I had no idea they resided. This will be wonderful for when patrons wish to view film. They are 16 mm sound film projectors, so they won't work for all the film we have, but will work for all the 16 mm. Prior to this we had no projector. Thanks to Jason Kiley who noted all our film storage containers and asked if I was interested in them before they were taken to surplus.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Clarke International Children's Book Read-In Event

by Bryan Whitledge

On Tuesday, April 19, The Clarke held our second International Children’s Book Read-In event. During the 3-hour event, over 60 people stopped by the Park Library Baber Room to listen to 12 readers from all corners of the globe read children’s books. The audience ranged in age from 5 months to over 90 years old with many college students and several members of the greater CMU community stopping by to listen.

The books that were read came from the Clarke’s collection of award-winning international children’s literature – with books in over 50 languages, the Clarke has quite a selection to choose from. The readers read a book in their native language and provided the audience with a translation.

All of the readers did a fantastic job and the audience had the chance to hear just a little of the languages that the readers grew up speaking. It is incredible to think that all of the 11 languages we heard -- plus many more -- are regularly spoken by members of the Central Michigan University community. Being able to hear Polish, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, and French plus Yoruba, German, Chinese, Indonesian, Swedish, and Korean all in one afternoon was a great experience for those who attended.

For entertainment, education, and simply conversing with our international colleagues and fellow students, this event was a great way to spend a Tuesday afternoon. For some excellent photos of the event, check out the Central Michigan University Facebook page.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Rob St. Mary to Speak Monday

Join us on Monday, April 11 at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Baber Room to welcome Michigan Notable Book Award Winner Rob St. ​Mary, author of The Orbit Magazine Anthology: Re-Entry. This book, which details the full run of White Noise, Fun, and Orbit, is a collection of two decades’ worth of Detroit’s alternative publishing history into an oversized, heavily illustrated volume that situates the publications in the city’s pop culture and media history. Orbit, a local journal, was an instantly recognizable arbiter of 1990s Detroit culture. Its irreverent tone and unique editorial features could be traced to two earlier local publications from creator Jerry Peterson — White Noise (1978–1980) and Fun: The Magazine for Swinging Intellectuals (1986–1990).

A reception in the Baber Room will follow the event. If you need accommodations or would like more information, please contact the Clarke (clarke@cmich.edu or 989-774-3352)

Friday, April 1, 2016

International Children's Book Day

by Katie Wilson

Books by Roger Mellow,
2014 H.C. Andersen Award winner


211 years ago this Saturday, April 2nd, the notable Danish author and father of many famous fairy tales, Hans Christian Andersen, was born. On or around the time of this special day, the International Board on Books For Young People (IBBY), celebrates International Children’s Book Day (ICBD), a tradition started in 1967. Every year, IBBY picks a different National Section member of the board to be the international sponsor of ICBD. After setting a theme, they pick a well-known author from the host country to write a message to children around the world and a prominent illustrator to design that year’s poster. This year, the author is Luciana Sandroni and the illustrator is Ziraldo, both from the host country, Brazil. You may read Sandroni’s message and see Ziraldo’s poster here.

Books by H.C. Andersen Award Nominees
Here at the Clarke, we understand the importance of collecting children’s books from all over the world. We have been fortunate enough to receive a large donation of  hundreds of books written or illustrated by contenders for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, IBBY's biennial top prize, over the past decade. We have also collected dozens of IBBY honor books by authors and illustrators not yet nominated for the prestigious H.C. Andersen Award. With over 50 languages represented, our collection does its best to celebrate International Children’s Book Day every day.


More international children's books from the Clarke
Later this month, the Clarke will continue the spirit of ICBD and reading across cultures with the 2nd annual International Children’s Books Read-In. We will have native speakers of over ten languages reading from our fine collection of beautiful IBYY books. This event will be held on Tuesday, April 19th from 3:30pm-6:30pm in the Park Library Baber Room. Stay up with the News and Notes blog or the Clarke's Facebook and Twitter profiles for more information.