Sunday, February 5, 2023
Feb. 5, 2023

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Check It Out: National Book Awards coming


The 73rd National Book Awards winners will be announced Nov. 16.

I’ve been exploring the National Book Foundation website both as a source for developing the library’s collection and as a personal point of curiosity. The National Book Foundation is probably best known for the annual National Book Awards, but they also run a program called BookUp which connects students with local authors, runs free reading groups, and gives away free books to students. In addition, the Foundation presents an annual National Book Awards Teen Press Conference in New York which invites young readers to meet and interview authors. I was excited to learn about these programs and to know that the National Book Foundation is committed to the development and growth of lifelong readers.

If you want to learn more about the National Book Foundation, I encourage everyone to visit I was especially struck by the Foundation’s Values statement which is guided by the following core beliefs:

  • Books are essential to a thriving cultural landscape
  • Books and literature provide a depth of engagement that helps to protect, stimulate, and promote discourse
  • Books and literature are for everyone, everywhere.

The last point — books and literature are for everyone, everywhere — is also one of my core beliefs as a librarian and a reader. I also appreciate how it echoes the second and third laws from S. R. Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science: 2) Every person his or her book 3) Every book its reader.

Winning a National Book Award must be incredibly rewarding, but I have to imagine being nominated is also thrilling and gratifying for any author. In honor of the upcoming awards ceremony, I recommend reading one – or all – of the 2022 nonfiction nominees.

  • “The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness” by Meghan O’Rourke. (available in print, eBook and eAudiobook formats)
  • “South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation” by Imani Perry. (available in print, eBook and eAudiobook formats)
  • “Breathless: The Scientific Race to Defeat a Deadly Virus” by David Quammen. (available in print)
  • “The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir” by Ingrid Rojas Contreras. (available in print and eBook formats)
  • “His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Injustice” by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa. (available in print, large print and eBook formats)