The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art Presents the 8th Annual Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture with Anita Silvey

WHAT: 8th Annual Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture with Anita Silvey  
WHERE: The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art - 125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA
WHEN: Saturday, April 28th at 2:00pm

Editor, author, and scholar Anita Silvey will deliver the annual Barbara Elleman Research Library (BERL) Lecture on Saturday, April 28th at 2:00pm at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The BERL Lecture is an annual event featuring the country's preeminent scholars, book collectors, researchers, editors, authors, and illustrators in the field of children's literature.

Anita Silvey's lecture Celebrating the Caldecott: The Stories Behind Some of the Great Caldecott Medal and Honor Books takes a look "behind the curtain" as she reveals insights into the publishing and promotion of these Caldecott treasures. Silvey will draw from her 40 years of experience in publishing and evaluating children's books, including her work as publisher of children's books at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (formerly Houghton Mifflin) and as editor of The Horn Book magazine. The lecture is free with museum admission and a reception and book signing will follow.

At noon, prior to the lecture, educators, librarians, and caregivers are invited to participate in Sharing Caldecott Medal Books, an informal discussion sharing their experiences introducing Caldecott Medal books to children. This program will be given by Susan Schiller and Barbara Weber, volunteers in The Carle's Reading Library, and Susan Wells, school librarian at Wildwood Elementary in Amherst. Reservations are required for the noon discussion; visit for more information.

Guests will also have time to explore The Carle's special exhibition, Eighty Years of Caldecott Books, co-curated by Barbara Elleman and Chief Curator Ellen Keiter. The exhibition celebrates artistic achievement in picture books, presenting a chronological display of the winning Caldecott titles from 1938 to the present. 

Established in 2003, the BERL is a non-circulating research collection of roughly 3,000 volumes of professional resources and children's books devoted to the study of children's literature and the visual arts. The Library is named for former Museum Trustee and Book Links magazine Founding Editor Barbara Elleman; together with her late husband Don Elleman, generously contributed the books that form the core of the collection and the support for its home within the Museum.

The unique organization of the collection highlights areas of interest such as author and illustrator biographies, literary criticism, illustration studies, and more. It is ideally suited for students, teachers, librarians and other professionals interested in the study and use of children's literature and the visual arts. The Carle added a collection of more than fifty books about the life and works of Beatrix Potter, courtesy of several collectors. The Picture Book Archive contains more than 1500 picture books from prominent illustrators in the 1970s to the early 2000s as well as titles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In addition to bring a resource for the public, the collection is often drawn upon for The Carle's exhibitions and programming.

Barbara Elleman, who received her Bachelor's Degree in Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and her Master's Degree in Library Science from the University of Denver, worked as a school and public librarian before accepting a position in 1975 as reviewer and an editor for the American Library Association's Booklist magazine; in 1990 she created and became editor-in-chief of Book Links. After leaving ALA in 1996, Elleman was named Distinguished Scholar of Children's Literature at Marquette University in Milwaukee where she lectured and promoted the use of children's books in the School of Education. She guest curated highly acclaimed exhibits of original work by Virginia Lee Burton and Tomie dePaola in 2009. During her career, Elleman was particularly attracted to the art of the picture book, so her collection reflects that interest - books about the illustrated book as well as picture books themselves.

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture-book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at

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