Photojournalists in the U.S., Europe, and North Africa have covered numerous stories about libraries or events that occurred in libraries or at the behest of libraries since May. Some of these events included heads of state. These events occurred at the national libraries of Spain and Morocco; the Library of Congress, which is the de facto national library of the U.S.; and personal libraries, including the personal library of Pope Francis.
To begin chronologically, Pat Ruddy, the owner and designer of the European Club, showed off his collection of 6,000 golf books to CNN Golf correspondent Shane O'Donoghue in his library at The European Golf Club on May 2, 2013 in Brittas Bay, County Wicklow, Ireland.
On Thursday, May 9, 2013, HRM King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden and HRM Queen Silvia Renate visited the Library of Congress. Kris Connor photographed them for Getty Images at the Thomas Jefferson Building.
Little girls were able to use computer terminals in Barbie's library at the Barbie Dreamhouse Experience on Thursday, May 16, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Open to the public until Friday, August 25, 2013, after which it will move to other European cities, according to Getty Images, “The Barbie Dreamhouse is a life-sized house full of Barbie fashion, furniture and accessories.”
Apropos of Berlin, German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel exchanged gifts with Pope Francis after their meeting in his private library in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican on Saturday, May 18, 2013. She leads a parliamentary coalition that consists of the Christian Democratic Union (a conservative party that operates outside Bavaria), the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (a Bavarian conservative party), and the Free Democratic Party (a liberal party).
During a concert, on May 22, 2013, President Barack H. Obama, Jr. awarded singer-songwriter Carole King the 2013 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song at the White House in Washington, D.C. The Library of Congress awards the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to recognize singer-songwriters for lifetime achievements in musical expression. Carole King is the fifth recipient of the Gershwin Prize.
The Spanish heir apparent, HRH Don Felipe, The Prince of Asturias, and his wife, HRH Doña Letizia, Princess of Asturias, (a former journalist), attended the exhibition La Transicion En Tinta China (“The Transition In Indian Ink”) at the National Library on May 27, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of President Richard M. Nixon hosting a dinner in honor of 571 American POWs on May 23, 1972, the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, California held a three-day exhibition, “An All American Homecoming.” Approximately 200 former POWs attended the event.
Much less happily, the Santa Monica College library ended up in the newspapers because a gunman’s rampage ended there with his death. Six people were killed (including the suspected gunman) and four were injured in a killing spree that ended with the gunman’s shootout with police in the Santa Monica College library on Friday, June 7, 2013. In less than fifteen minutes, twenty-three-year-old John Zawahri is believed to have started by killing his father, Samir, and older brother, Christopher, in the family home and setting the house on fire.
As best as the police could reconstruct, Zawahri then kidnapped a passing motorist and forced her to drive him to the Santa Monica College campus. He wounded a woman who tried to intervene in the kidnapping, injured three people on a bus he shot up, killed a groundskeeper in a car he shot up and fatally injured a passenger (the groundskeeper’s daughter), shot a woman outside the library, and then walked into the library where he lost a shootout with police who carried him outside where he died.
Also on July 4, 2013, Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford home in the Scottish Borders re-opened to the public after it underwent a multi-million-pound restoration. [Queen Elizabeth II toured Abbotsford on July 3rd.] Dame Jean Maxwell Scott, Sir Walter Scott's last descendent to reside in his home, died in 2004.
The building had begun to deteriorate by then. Between repairs to the building and equally necessary conservation of artifacts – his collections of antique furniture, arms and armor, and tapestries – the estate needed £12,000,000 worth of repairs.
The Abbotsford Trust raised £10,600,000 so far and hopes to raise another £4,600,000. While the author’s home underwent restoration, approximately 13,500 items that had belonged to him were put in storage, including his library of 9,000 volumes and 400 pieces of arms and armor.
The Scottish poet, novelist, and playwright Sir Walter Scott (1772-1832), 1st Baronet, was one of the first English-language authors to develop an international following within his lifetime. His historical novels include Rob Roy, published in 1817; Ivanhoe, published in 1818; and The Bride of Lammermoor, published in 1819.
He is also famous because in 1818 he led a group that recovered the lost Honours of Scotland (Scottish Crown Jewels), which had been hidden away in Edinburgh Castle. Scott named his estate Abbotsford in honor of a Roman road near his property that was used in Medieval and early modern times by the abbots of Melrose Abbey.
On Tuesday, July 16, 2013 the second day of a four-day-long visit to Morocco, HM The King Juan Carlos I of Spain participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with HM The King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Mohammad’s younger brother, Prince Moulay Rachid, at the inauguration of the exhibition “25 Anos de Cooperacion Hispano-Marroqui” at the National Library in Rabat, Morocco.
During his visit in Morocco, Juan Carlos I asked Mohammed VI to release and pardon forty-eight Spaniards in Morrocan prisons. A few weeks later, Mohammad VI granted this request from his brother-monarch.
The release and pardon of one of those prisoners – a pedophile serving a thirty-year-long sentence – provoked protests in Rabat and other cities, as reported by Reuters. A lawyer for the families of the pederast’s victims (aged four to fifteen) told Reuters his name was Daniel Vino Galvan.
Protestors wanted him re-imprisoned and his pardon rescinded, but he was already out of the country. Theoretically, the children of Morocco are safe from him, despite his owning property in the kingdom, because he has effectively been exiled.
Justice Minister Mustapha Ramid told Reuters, "That person is banned in Morocco's territory, he cannot return." Now one fears for children in Spain.