United for Libraries designates boyhood home of Sinclair Lewis a Literary Landmark

For Immediate Release
Tue, 07/30/2013

Contact:

Jillian Kalonick
Marketing/Public Relations Specialist
United for Libraries
jkalonick@ala.org

PHILADELPHIA - United for Libraries, in partnership with the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) and the Sinclair Lewis Foundation, designated the boyhood home of Sinclair Lewis in Sauk Centre, Minn. a Literary Landmark on Tuesday, July 16.

The ceremony was one of the linchpin events at Sauk Centre’s “Sinclair Lewis Days,” an annual, week-long festival celebrating the community and its most famous native son. Attendees included district 12B Rep. Paul Anderson and Sauk Center Mayor Brad Kirckof.

Speakers included MALF President Mary Ann Bernat, who spoke about United for Libraries and the Literary Landmark program; biographer Roberta Olson, who gave a brief sketch of the youth’s years in Sauk Centre; and local author and publisher Dave Simpkins, who is currently researching Lewis’s diaries for an exciting upcoming volume on the author.

Lewis is buried in Sauk Centre under a modest headstone. Of his many and varied literary achievements, his epitaph lists only “Author of Main Street.” Lewis gained international literary acclaim and immortalized a fictionalized version of the town in 1920’s “Main Street.

Lewis’ boyhood one is one mile from the cemetery where he is buried. The home, originally built in 1889, and a National Historic Landmark since 1968, is a major tourist draw and center for Lewis scholarship and symposia. Rather than his later life, career and death, the Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home focuses foremost on the Nobel laureate’s early and formative years in Stearns County.

The Sinclair Lewis Boyhood Home is Minnesota’s fourth Literary Landmark, and the first to be co-sponsored by MALF. Other local partners in the dedication include the Bryant Public Library in Sauk Centre, a member of Great River Regional Library; the Friends of the Bryant Public Library and the Sauk Centre Chamber of Commerce.

The Literary Landmark program is administered by United for Libraries. More than 120 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began in 1986. Any library or group may apply for a Literary Landmark through United for Libraries. More information is available on the United for Libraries website. 

A strong presence on the Minnesota library scene since its founding in 1979, the Minnesota Association of Library Friends (MALF) is a statewide nonprofit that aims to connect the many and diverse friends of the library organizations located in Minnesota both to one another and to a wide array of resources supporting their advocacy and fundraising efforts. For more information, visit www.mnlibraryfriends.org.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association that supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries. United for Libraries brings together library trustees, advocates, friends and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information or to join United for Libraries, visit the United for Libraries website or contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or jkalonick@ala.org.