Touted as the “smartest event in town”, the Carl Sandberg Literary Awards dinner on Wednesday, October 23 at the UIC Forum did not disappoint. The Carl Sandberg Literary Awards is sponsored by the Chicago Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library. The event this year was co-hosted by Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts, and Marcy Carlin, a Foundation board member and Senior Vice President at Essex Event Management.
The Chicago Public Library Foundation was founded in 1986 as a true public/private partnership with the City of Chicago to ensure that libraries would be accessible to all Chicagoans. The Foundation has several community sponsored programs including Summer Learning Challenge, Teacher in the Library, CyberNavigators, and One Book, One Chicago. Since the inception of the Foundation, over $50 million dollars has been raised to support the Library.
The Carl Sandberg Literary Awards provide an intelligent platform to the Chicago social scene. Esteemed authors and honorees, ranging from fiction writers, historical writers, sci-fi writers, and political analysts are seated at every table with the guests. Instead of large flower centerpieces, each table is adorned with books from the award recipients.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel briefly spoke and said last year, with the help of the Chicago Public Library and the Foundation, over 72,000 of Chicago’s children read over 2.1 million books and as a result Mayor Emmanuel and the Library Commissioner Brian Bannon would have to participate in the Polar Plunge on New Years Day!
After dinner, Isabel Allende and Michael Lewis engaged in a conversation that was moderated by Scott Simon, a critically acclaimed author of National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition. Allende is hailed as a powerful force in feminist writing as a Chilean-American author. Some of her most powerful books are House of Spirits and Island Beneath the Sea. Lewis is the politically shrewd author of Moneyball, Boomerang, and The Blind Side; Evolution of a Game which was later adapted to film in The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. Christine Sneed teaches creative writing at DePaul University, Northwestern University, and Pacific University. She received the 21st Century Award for her first novel, Little Known Facts.
had the opportunity to speak with Michael Lewis, a brilliant and very enthusiastic author, “Chicago is a city like no other-where else does a city have such a high interest in it’s citizens being civically minded and have access to a quality education”? He spoke about how honored he was to receive one of the most prestigious literary awards out there!
The Carl Sandberg Literay Awards leave all of the guests with one heartfelt notion: a library can provide opportunities to education and expand minds in a way we cannot even imagine.