Saturday, May 15, 2010

Re: My Danish Writer's Retreat

I found a lovely apartment to rent in the Christianshavn section of Copenhagen. It's near their famous Black Diamond Library

Re: A writer's retreat in Copenhagen, Denmark

Regina Andrews visited many countries in the 1950s and 1960s as part of her civic work for the National Council of Women of the United States. She visited: Europe (post-war Germany as part of the Marshall Plan), Asia (China, Japan, Korea, India and Thailand), the Middle East (Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran), the African nations of Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Liberia, Ghana, Senegal, and the Ivory Coast and Brazil in South America. She also briefly visited Rome and Lebanon.

Although Andrews never visited Denmark, I decided to take a two-month writer's retreat to Copenhagen. Copenhagen and their libraries are currently dealing with an influx of immigrants, much like Regina and the New York Public Library during her tenure there from the 1920s - 1960s. I met with a representative from The Danish Library Centre for Integration to discuss services for immigrants and refugees.

Next week I'll meet with faculty at the Royal School of Library and Information Science. I may have the opportunity to present my work on Regina Andrews. Some of their faculty have an interest in library history and library services to ethnic minorities. I'll teach a course, Information Services for Culturally Diverse Communities, this fall at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I

Sunday, May 2, 2010

An exciting development

An audience member informed me that Regina Andrews' assistant librarian from the Washington Heights branch, Enda Law, is still alive. I plan to contact her.

My Presentation

Last week I gave a presentation to the retired librarians from the New York Public Library. I had a wonderful time. Many of the audience members knew Regina Andrews or had heard about her. One audience member is working on a collective biography of the head librarians during the first 50 years of the 20th Century which includes Andrews. Some of the librarians also remembered working with my sister, a former NYPL librarian. The host, Becky Koppelman put together a lovely program, great refreshments, and interesting questions from a large audience.