Library Week Contest Ponders a Weighty Subject

UT Dallas Observance Focuses on an Antique Tome and a UT Dallas Prof's Book

Apr. 6, 2011

A 256-year-old dictionary and a book about ballerinas in peril will help UT Dallas celebrate National Library Week.

McDermott Library turned to its own Special Collections department and a film scholar from the School of Arts and Humanities to put together the April 11-15 observance.

Events include:

  • A student contest to guess the weight of Samuel Johnson’s two-volume A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755.
  • Dr. Adrienne L. McLean,  discussing her book about Hollywood’s recurring use of the melancholic artist image in films about ballet, the Oscar-winning Black Swan being only the most recent example.
  • A staff brunch in recognition of National Library Workers Day.

The rare first edition of Johnson’s dictionary will be on display in Special Collections on the third level of the library for contestants to observe before making their estimates.

The top two UT Dallas students who come closest to estimating the total weight of the two volumes in kilograms will take away prizes – a Nook color e-reader for first place and a Texas Instruments TI-84 Plus calculator for second. Entry forms will be available near the display and at the Information Desk in the McDermott Library lobby. Entries, limited to one per student, are due April 15.

Amid interest in Black Swan, Dr. Adrienne L. McLean, professor of film and aesthetic studies at UT Dallas, has received attention for her 2008 book, Dying Swans and Madmen: The Image of the Ballet Artist in Popular Film.

Drawing on a range of film genres from musicals to melodramas, Dr. McLean will explore the ways that commercial films, including Black Swan, have produced an image of ballet and its artists that is associated with joy, fulfillment, fame, and power – but also with sexual and mental perversity, melancholy and death.

Her free public presentation is set for 2-3 p.m. April 11 in the TI Auditorium (ECSS 2.102).

The next afternoon, library staffers will be treated to a buffet brunch in observance of National Library Workers Day on Tuesday April 12. It is a day to recognize the contributions made by library workers.  One staff member will be named Employee of the Quarter.

Also as part of Library Week, the library will display art by high school students in the 3rd Congressional District of Texas entered in the 2011 Congressional Art Competition. The area competition is sponsored by U.S. Rep. Sam Johnson. Works by finalists will be on display in McDermott Library April 11-25. The grand winner of the district competition will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for a year along with other district winners from across the country.  McDermott Library was also a stop on the of the 2010 district finalists' tour.


Media Contact: Tom Koch, McDermott Library, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4951, tkoch@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, 972-883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu
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1755 First Edition Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

Samuel Johnson's two-volume A Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1755, is on display at McDermott Library.

 

Dying Swans and MadmenDr. Adrienne L. McLean, professor of film and aesthetic studies at UT Dallas, has received attention for her 2008 book, Dying Swans and Madmen: The Image of the Ballet Artist in Popular Film.

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