Award-winning journalist Mary Wisniewski, transportation reporter and “Getting Around” columnist for the Chicago Tribune, will keynote the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Polish American Librarians Association June 23 at the Polish Museum of America in Chicago.
Wisniewski joined the Tribune in 2016 after stints as a general news reporter at Reuters and transportation reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. A Chicago-area native, she has won numerous journalism awards, including a 2010 Lisagor for a story on the city’s cab business. Wisniewski’s biography of writer Nelson Algren was published last October by Chicago Review Press and involved a great deal of research into Polish community life in Chicago. Algren’s second novel, Never Come Morning (1942), portrayed the life of a doomed young Polish-American criminal. The novel offended some Chicago Polish-Americans so much that they succeeded in getting Mayor Edward Joseph Kelly to ban the novel from the Chicago Public Library.
“We are pleased that Mary Wisniewski will be our speaker this year,” says PALA President Leonard Kniffel. “As a working journalist with a Polish-American background, her perspective on her ethnic heritage will be of special interest to librarians.” A Q&A will follow her presentation, and Wisniewski will sign copies of Algren: A Life, which will be available for purchase in the PMA Gift Shop. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the museum.
The PALA Annual Meeting has been scheduled for June 23 to coincide with the Annual Meeting of the American Library Association in order to give librarians from across the country traveling to Chicago for ALA an opportunity to attend the PALA meeting as well. The meeting is free to PALA members; a $10 donation is requested from others who wish to attend. The meeting will run from noon until 4:00 p.m. and will include a continental breakfast, a brief membership meeting and update on PALA activities over the past year, a panel discussion on a library topic, and a tour of the Polish Museum Library. You do not have to be Polish or a librarian to attend, just a PALA supporter, but please let us know if you plan to attend at http://palalib.org/contact-us/. Invitations with a complete schedule are forthcoming.