Leonard Kniffel is a publishing executive for the American Library Association in Chicago. He was editor-in-chief of American Libraries magazine from 1996 to 2011 and worked as a librarian for 18 years at the Detroit Public Library. He is also the author of A Polish Son in the Motherland: An American's Journey Home, a travel memoir.
- Table of Contents
- About the Author
American Libraries editor in chief Leonard Kniffel offers a compelling collection of interviews with prominent figures--all of whom have special connections to libraries. From President Barack Obama to actress Julie Andrews; from basketball star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to former First Lady and librarian Laura Bush and many others, stars of literature, politics, entertainment, and the public arena speak with Kniffel about the ways libraries have been critical in their lives. Other highlights of this delightful volume
- TV icon Oprah Winfrey talks about library books as "her pass to personal freedom"
- Hard-boiled wordsmith David Mamet claims the public library as his "alma mater"
- Software mogul Bill Gates discusses his groundbreaking library computerization project and why he feels libraries are an important focus of his investment
- Former Vice President Al Gore addresses the "information ecosystem," including how libraries contribute to the informed citizenry that's required to manage today's challenges
With plenty to engage library advocates as well as casual readers, Reading with the Stars offers proof positive that libraries and librarians continue to perform vital services and hold a place of honor.
one Barack Obama:
two Julie Andrews:
three Bill Gates:
four David Mamet:
five Laura Bush:
six Ken Burns:
seven Kareem Abdul-Jabbar:
eight Cokie Roberts:
nine Ron Reagan:
ten Garrison Keillor:
eleven Ralph Nader:
twelve Jamie Lee Curtis:
thirteen Al Gore:
fourteen Oprah Winfrey:
"For 15 years the ALA's Kniffel (A Polish Son in the Motherland) edited American Libraries, the source for this pleasing compilation of speeches, essays, and interviews illustrating the importance of reading. The 14 contributors include Barack Obama, Laura Bush, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Julie Andrews, Ken Burns, and Garrison Keillor. Oprah Winfrey recalls, 'Getting my library card was like... American citizenship.' Laura Bush discusses how her Foundation for America's Libraries helped Gulf Coast schools rebuild libraries destroyed by Katrina. Bill Gates says his $180 million investment in computerizing libraries has created synergy, 'The people who came for the computers use the books. The people who came for the books use the computers.' Recalling a government plan to use bookstore records to see who was reading what, David Mamet describes how a Vermont bookstore owner burned his files. 'This, to me, was a profound and courageous statement, for when and if the government controls what we can read, America, as we have known it, is finished.' Contributors offer lists of book recommendations for adults and children."
"Because politicians are included in the mix, and politicians are ever mindful of their images, you might expect the book to be nothing but boring bromides: Books are great, reading is important. Yet there are surprises here, along with insights."
"Knowledge is power, and there are fewer roads quicker to knowledge than books ... an excellent addition to any community or school library collection, the better to encourage literacy and further reading from young people."
--Midwest Book Review