16 November 2006
The Pratt Society Dinner
Sometimes its really quite amazing to work here.
Last week our central hall was transformed into an elegant supper club for the Pratt Society Dinner. This annual function recognizes individuals and organizations who have donated $1000 or more to the Library and its programs. The centerpiece of the evening is the awarding of the Lifetime Literary Achievement Award to a distinguished author. Past awardees have been Alice Walker, John Updike, Joyce Carol Oates, Saul Bellow, Toni Morrison, Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer and Barbara Kingsolver. This year the award went to one of my favorite authors, E. L. Doctorow.
(Doctorow signing his new collection Creationists)
As manager then supervisor over the work of the Pratt Center for Technology Training, I've attended about half of these events (the Walker, Morrison, Wolfe, Mailer, Kingsolver -- who was, somewhat unexpectedly to me, fantastic -- and now Doctorow evenings), getting a chance to ask Mailer about boxing ('not too interesting' since Ali's retirement), for example, and sheepishly asking La Morrison to sign my arm load of her works ("I'm sorry to impose...." I started to say. "No you're not," she replied, motioning to me to set the books down, "Come on." We then tried to figure out if she knew any of my Other Half's family back in their native Ohio)
And it's always amazing to see this soon-to-be 75 year old building looking like a million bucks.
Pratt Library Director (and former American Library Association President) Dr. Carla Hayden with two members of the Facilites staff (Derek Fauntleroy and Terrence 'The Terrific' Thomas) , under a luminous Toni Morrison.
Melissa Carter and Daryl Jeffries of the Development Office kick up their heels in a post-dinner dance.