“A library outranks any other one thing a community can do for its people. It is a never failing spring in the desert.”─ Andrew Carnegie
Andrew Carnegie’s legacy as a believer in the power of books lives on through the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Started in 2012 as a joint initiative of Carnegie Corporation of New York and the American Library Association, the award seeks to recognize the best of the best in fiction and nonfiction for adult readers published in the prior year.
Carnegie, known for his rags-to-riches story and his philanthropy, funded 2,500 libraries around the globe. Now the award that bears his name is being used to serve as a guide to help adults select quality reading material.
On June 28, 2014, at its Annual Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas, the ALA* announced the selection committee’s choices:
• Donna Tartt won the medal for Fiction for her novel The Goldfinch, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group
• Doris Kearns Goodwin won in Nonfiction for her book, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism, published by Simon & Schuster.
The awards are the first single-book awards for adult books given by the ALA and reflect the expert judgment of library professionals who work closely with adult readers. Each winner will receive $5,000 and the four finalists will each receive $1,500.
This year’s fiction finalists are:
• Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
• Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
This year’s nonfiction finalists are:
• On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand Year History by Nicholas A. Basbanes, published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.
• Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink, published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.
*The award is co-sponsored by ALA’s Booklist Publications and the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA).