Anne Carroll Moore…..

a) is the patron saint of children’s librarians everywhere

b) was a literary snob

c) was a crazy, controlling dictator of NYPL’s Children’s Services

e) all of the above?

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4 thoughts on “Anne Carroll Moore…..

  1. The article was pretty eye-opening for me. I had never heard anything but praise and an almost god-like worship of Miss Moore. It was intriguing to see a different side of her presented.

    While I don’t think it sullies her legacy- she did so much for children’s literature and the development of public libraries for children- it nevertheless brings to light some interesting conflicts that are still presents in the kidlit world. There are still those in both publishing and in libraries who feel that they “know best” about what types of books or materials are appropriate for children. I tend to feel that the major awards given to children’s literature more often favor books that adults appreciate. To get on my own little soapbox that I’ve been riding for a while- when was the last time you saw a Clementine or a Diary of a Wimpy Kid type-book win a major award? I think children’s literature continues to be plagued by literary snobbery- to the detriment of children.

    I was surprised to discover all the wonderful work done by Katharine White for the Brooklyn Public Library- and children’s literature in general. I think she deserves just as much credit for the “golden age” of children’s libraries as does Anne Carroll Moore.

    Despite the disagreements and “poisoned courtesy” that went back and forth between Mr. and Mrs.White and Miss Moore, I found myself delighting in the idea that the critique of children’s literature was a topic of such importance and heated debate.

    Although, I too, would like to have read more about Frances Clark Sayers and her dealings with the great Miss Moore.

  2. I had an inkling about the “dark side” of ACM from reading “Dear Genius,” the collection of letters of the great children’s book editor Ursula Nordstrom. (The book was edited by Leonard Marcus.)

    I didn’t realize that ACM had “claimed” E.B. White to the extent that she did. Don’t you wonder if the Brooklin, ME, library still has the books Katharine White gave it? (I guess that’s something I could look up quickly here on the I’net.)

  3. Whoops- I just realized my mistake- Brooklyn Public vs. Brooklin Public. Not that it changes my opinon of Mrs.White. I would love to visit the Brooklin, ME library. I found their website (http://www.friendml.org/) , and while the homepage looks like it hasn’t been updated in a while- check out the fantastic (and very New England) architecture. Just beautiful.

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