So Many Books…So Little Time…

2016NewsletterHeadline_feb17psd.pngBY: LAUREN COSTELLO

I’m sure we can all say that at one point in our lives we have found a great friend in a book. And for Helen Zinkham, she has found a great million friends in books…

Acting as the Director for Collections & Reference Services, Helena shed some light on the “top treasures” at the Library of Congress.

Helena’s fascination with libraries started at an early age beginning with the Enoch Pratt Free Library. She told the residents she went there frequently with her mom and got lost in the books. Helena specifically remembers the librarians letting her browse each isle, letting her pick out books that were of interest to her. From this moment on her passion grew.

Fast forward, and Helena is now the Director for Collections & Reference Services, working each day next to a beautiful view of the United States Capital. An interesting fact that I learned from the lecture was that the Library of Congress is both the congressional library as well as the national library. Who knew?!

She continued by going into detail about the War of 1812 and how the Library went up in smoke. But not to worry! Thomas Jefferson came to the rescue and offered his personal library as a replacement…for a small cost of about $23,950!!

The rest of the lecture focuses on what the Library has become today. This includes…

  • More than 160 million items
  • Almost 850 miles of shelving (driving from Baltimore to New York and back…TWICE…plus a few more miles!!)
  • 14 million photos
  • 5.5 million maps
  • 8.1 million pieces of sheet music

And so much more…

And the best part of all? The Library of Congress is only 50 miles South in our nation’s capital.

This show airs on Tuesday, February 21st at 10AM, 2PM, 7PM, 9PM, and 12AM. You can also visit the following day to view the program.



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