Benson Memorial Library, Libraries, Titusville, PA

“May 31, 1944,” by Isabella Leitner and illustrated by Gus Leiber at the Benson Memorial Library, May 2018

 

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In the month of May the Benson Memorial Library is proudly displaying the poem “May 31, 1944,” by Isabella Leitner and illustrated by Gus Leiber in the Wentz Reading Room at the Benson Memorial Library. Many thanks to Lynn Cressman of the Titusville School District Board of Directors for arranging this for our library. I love it when public libraries are filled with art, and even more so when a small rural library like ours has a chance to bring a wonderful work by a internationally known artist to their community. Libraries are great connectors, and in this case we’re connecting our community to not only some great art but also to an important subject matter. I hope to do more of this kind of stuff for Titusville, PA while I’m the director here.

PRESS RELEASE
“May 29, 1944, the day after Isabella Katz’s twenty-third birthday, she, along with her family and all the Jews in the ghetto in Kisvarda, Hungary, were rounded up by the Nazis, loaded into rail cars, and transported to Auschwitz. Her mother and younger sister were immediately gassed upon arrival at the camp. Three of her siblings survived their days in Auschwitz by supporting each other with determination. Her father managed to get to the United States and tried to obtain visas for them. Eventually she was reunited with her father, who, although he had escaped the concentration camp, lived the remainder of his life feeling he had let his family down. Isabella used her experience to write two accounts, Fragments of Isabella and The Big Lie.

Titusville native Gus Leiber has, in his modern style, illustrated a poem by Isabella Leitner entitled “May 31, 1944,” which is the day she arrived in Auschwitz. This poem hits very close to home because Gus’s wife, Judy, a Hungarian, was at one time on the list to be sent to the concentration camps. Instead, a friend added Judy’s name, as well as her sister’s and mother’s names, to the schuss pass (travel pass). A teenager, Tommy Baroth, hunted until he found a typewriter whose font matched the type on the schuss pass. He carefully added “and family,” to Mr. Peto’s pass, saving the family from a horrible fate. Tom and his sister Agnes reside in New York City today.

Sadly, both Gus and Judy Leiber passed away Saturday, April 28th within six hours of each other. Their art and love will be missed by many. Read their obituary here.

The poem by Isabella Leitner, “May 31, 1944,” illustrated by Gus Leiber is on display from May 1 until May 31 in the Wentz Reading Room at Benson Memorial Library. The public is invited to visit the library to see this special exhibit.”

Gus Leiber

ABOUT Gerson “Gus” Leiber (1921-2018)
Gerson Leiber, of the Titusville High School Class of 1939, was a Modernist painter who resided in New York City with his wife, Judith. As a student in Titusville, he showed great artistic promise; however, WWII took him to Hungary, where he met his future wife, Judith Peto, who was a handbag master. Upon the conclusion of the war, they moved to New York City, where Gerson attended art school while Judith pursued the design and creation of handbags. She eventually founded Judith Leiber, Inc., creating exquisite handbags, ranging from alligator leather bags to dazzling beaded clutches.

Mr. Leiber has exhibited in over 300 national and international exhibitions as well as 20 one-man exhibitions. He is past president of the Society of American Graphic Artists and a member of the Audubon Artists, the National Academy of Design and the Art Student’s League. He is also the recipient of many awards, including Tiffany Fellowships in 1957 and 1960.

Several years ago, Mr. Leiber donated a considerable number of his art books to the Titusville High School library for student use, furnishing the library with a fine collection. He followed with a piece of his own entitled The Smoking Man, as well as high quality prints of the work of Rembrandt and Albrecht Dürer, and a Picasso portfolio. He went on to purchase a collection of Japanese prints by artists Kunisada and Hiroshi for study and display at THS. He has also donated beautiful collections of Persian miniatures and French prints of various subjects.

Currently we have approximately fourteen different collections by different artists. We hope to use this artwork to help educate students and give the entire community a chance to experience very different types of artwork. Both Gus and Judy Leiber passed away on Saturday, April 28th, 2018. For all of the Leibers’ contributions we are deeply and sincerely grateful.

Leitner Leiber Display

Read more about The Leiber Museum here

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Idea Share, Libraries, Presentations, Teens, Travel

YOUTH LIBRARIANS UNITE!

Poke3I need your help!  I’m giving three keynote speeches in the next few months and I want to fill my presentations with awesome images of awesome kids/tween/teen library happenings, events, maker things, day to day interactions and more.

Care to share?  I hope you will!

If you’re up for sharing, here’s what you need to do:

  • Email your images to justinthelibrarian at gmail dot com
  • Include your name/twitter username/website
  • Give me a brief description of what’s going on in the photo so I can talk about it.
  • Include “Justin! Use these images in your presentation to share the greatness of working with kids/tweens/teens!”

I’ll be speaking in North Carolina, Texas, Alberta, and Baltimore over the next few months and I want to show them that Youth Services Librarians are doing some of the best work in libraries today.

Thank you so much!

Libraries, Management

Demco New Leaders Travel Grant

I was really happy to hear about the Demco New Leaders Travel Grant being offered this year to help librarians attend PLA Boot Camp.  I just had the honor of returning from the program and I have nothing but great things to say about my experience.  I highly suggest looking into the program and applying for this grant to help get you there!

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To apply or nominate someone for this travel grant, click here!

Chattanooga Public Library, Libraries

Build a robot, set it free

We gave one of the robots we built during DEV DEV: summer of code at the Chattanooga Public Library and gave it a new job: drive around, say hello, and get our tweens and teens into technology.  So far, NUMBER SIX (as we’ve calling it) has been doing a great job.

Libraries, Presentations, Technology

The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries (A Library Journal/School Library Journal Online Event)

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I am honored to be part of the 2013 Library Journal/School Library Journal event The Digital Shift: Reinventing Libraries.  I’ll be moderating and speaking as part of the panel The Community Joins In: Library Maker Spaces 
alongside Michelle Cooper (Henderson High School) and Amy Koester (St. Charles City County Library District).  Here’s some more information:

Track – Community: Programming, Support and Resource Sharing
What’s your strategy for developing innovative library services? Whether you’re supporting job applicants, DIY enthusiasts, MOOC participants, or technology training seekers, this track will get you up to speed on where forward-thinking library leaders are devoting staff time in order to maximize resources.

The best part?  It’s a free program and you can register here.  I highly suggest you check it out!

DEV DEV: Summer of Code 2013, Libraries

DEV DEV THE MOVIE

In July 2013,  fifty teens gathered on the 2nd Floor of the Chattanooga Downtown Library to learn all about HTML, CSS, Python, and robotics.  This is their story. 

For more information, please visit DEV DEV: <summer of code/>

DEV DEV: Summer of Code 2013, Libraries

DEV DEV: at the Chattanooga Public Library DAY TWELVE

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Click on the image above to see what happened during the TWELFTH and FINAL day of the DEV DEV: <summer of code/> camp at the Chattanooga Public Library