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The Library of Congress Will Host Discussion/Workshops on Deaf Cultures

Washington, D.C. — The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress and the National Literary Society of the Deaf (NLSD) will co-sponsor an all-day discussion/workshop on “Telling America’s Stories by Bridging Deaf Cultures @ Your Library” on Tuesday, April 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Montpelier Room, located on the sixth floor of the James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

During the morning session, NLSD, a reading-promotion partner of the Center for the Book, will demonstrate how historical events and forces have shaped the ways that deaf people define themselves as a culture today. The afternoon portion of the program will be devoted to workshops.

“This program is a fine example of how the more than 80 partners of the Center for the Book work with us to sponsor programs that support our mission of promoting books, reading, libraries and literacy,” said John Y. Cole, the center’s director. “The National Literary Society of the Deaf is helping us reach a community that is not always well-understood by the general population. Deaf culture has evolved into a flourishing culture that is thriving in today’s society.”

“The National Literary Society of the Deaf Inc. is honored to be a reading-promotion partner of the Center for the Book,” said Alec McFarlane, president of the society. “Our program examines deaf history and culture and their impact upon America, one author at a time.”

The schedule of events follows.

10 a.m. – noon

  • Brief history of the NLSD by Ricardo Lopez, former president
  • Author presentations by well-known writers in the field: Myron Uhlberg is an acclaimed children’s book writer who is the child of deaf parents; Harry G. Lang is a deaf professor who retired after 41 years at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology (sponsored by their respective publishers, Peachtree Press and Gallaudet University Press)

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Book sales; optional tours of Library

2 – 4 p.m. Brief presentations and discussions covering the following topics:

  • “Copyright and Fair Use,” by Chaim Levinson, U.S. Copyright Office
  • “A Researcher’s Perspective: Finding Historical Documents at the Library of Congress,” by Dr. Harry G. Lang, author of 10 books
  • “Deaf Cultures and American Parents,” by librarians Alice Hagemeyer and Noah Beckman
  • A Dramatic Presentation: “Deaf Culture by the Seas: A Famous Seafaring Adventure from 1816,” by Wesley Arey, National Deaf Grassroots Movement
  • “The Library of Congress Internship Program and Other Internship Possibilities,” by Travis Painter, Library of Congress.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions.

The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to “stimulate public interest in books and reading,” is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Young Readers Center and the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress. For more information, visit www.loc.gov.

The National Literary Society of the Deaf was founded in 1907 by a group of students of the Kendall School at Gallaudet University, who wanted to promote literature and books, reading and debate. The society promotes deaf culture, books and literacy through programs and exhibits, particularly at public libraries.

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