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By: Miranda Forman

GoosebumpsWith only one week before the NC Literary Festival starts on Thursday, April 3rd, it’s more important than ever to finalize your list of authors to see.

Meet R.L. Stine, one of the top best-selling children’s series authors of all time. Stine is best known for his series Goosebumps, but he is phenomenally prolific and wrote several more series including Fear Street, Rotten School, and The Nightmare Room. At the end of 2012, CNN reported that “Stine has written more than 300 books that have sold a combined 350 million copies around the world.”

In addition to being one of the world’s top-selling and prolific children’s authors, Stine is an accomplished screenwriter, short story writer, and author of adult literature. He was lead screenwriter of the children’s television show “Eureeka’s Castle” for six years, and his adult thriller Eye Candy is currently being made into a TV series for MTV. Paradoxically enough, while Stine is commonly regarded as a horror writer, he has published a series of joke books under the pen name Jovial Bob Stine.

So, whether you’re a Goosebumps fan, a jokester, or interested in learning about how to write an astounding number of bestsellers, come meet R.L. Stine at the Hunt Library on Saturday, April 5. Stine will be available from 11:15-12:15 for one of our Family Fun events. Later on Saturday from 12:30-1:30, he will discuss the horror genre with Peter Straub. We hope to see you there!

For more information about the schedule and programs of the North Carolina Literary Festival, please visit the Festival website.

By: Miranda Forman

For mobile information about the North Carolina Literary Festival, there’s an app for that! If you’re wondering when to catch your favorite Pulitzer Prize winners, video game designers, and aerial storytellers, this guide will be your guide. Our mobile guide should also make it easy to plan your experience at the Literary Festival and navigate Hunt Library when you get there.

On your smartphone, check out and scan the bottom QR code, or search on for “North Carolina Literary Festival.” The Festival starts in less than two weeks! We hope to see you there!

By: Library Staff

ArduinoHave you ever wanted to build a robot that interacts with Twitter, a banana piano, or your own wearable electronics project? NCSU Libraries checks out two electronics kits, the SparkFun Arduino-based Inventor’s Kit, and the MaKey MaKey, that make it easy for anyone to create interactions between the physical world and computers. “Recent innovations around Internet-connected Smart Home technology, smartwatches, and many other interactive systems have become possible because of inexpensive, easy-to-use microcontrollers such as Arduino”, says Brendan O’Connell, NCSU Library Fellow. “I’m very excited that it’s easier than ever for our students, faculty, and staff to experiment with these technologies for free through the Libraries’ Technology Lending Program.”

Two workshops on Arduino will be offered at Hunt Library to NCSU faculty, staff, students, and the general public on March 28th as part of THATCamp RTP, a free one-day “unconference” on technology, humanities, social sciences, arts, and libraries. Registrants will be able to experiment with building circuits and developing code with Arduino, and develop their own interactive creative projects as part of the workshops. No coding, programming, or electronics experience is required for participation.

By: Miranda Forman

With only ten days before the NC Literary Festival, it’s more important than ever to finalize your list of authors to see. We’ve introduced Richard Ford and Junot Díaz, so now it’s time for James McBride—bestselling memoirist, saxophonist, and songwriter.

James McBride is perhaps best known for his landmark memoir The Color of Water—a book which stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for two years. The Color of Water is a moving, thoughtful account of McBride’s life that enables its readers to look inside themselves at their own decisions and beliefs. McBride’s latest novel The Good Lord Bird features the American revolutionary John Brown, and won the 2013 National Book Award.

In addition to being one of America’s best contemporary writers, McBride is a phenomenal saxophonist and songwriter. As a musician, he toured with jazz legend Jimmy Scott, is an accomplished songwriter, and co-wrote the musical “Bo-Bos.” Even more, McBride is a successful screenwriter and prolific journalist, and has written for news outlets including The Boston Globe, Washington Post, and People Magazine.

McBride will be speaking at the Literary Festival on Saturday, April 5 from 2:00-3:00PM in the Hunt Library. We are honored to have him join us for the NC Literary Festival.

For more information about the Literary Festival’s events and schedule, please visit the Festival website.

By: Miranda Forman

Junot DiazWith the North Carolina Literary Festival less than two weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about who you’ll want to hear. Meet Junot Díaz, one of our keynote authors.

The list of Díaz’s awards and accolades could fill all five of the high-resolution MicroTile walls in the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, and rightfully so. Along with the Pulitzer Prize, Díaz has won the National Book Critics Circle Award and has been honored with a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, Dayton Literary Peace Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, PEN/O. Henry Award, and more.

The New York Times has called Díaz’s voice “one of the most distinctive and magnetic … in contemporary fiction: limber, streetwise, caffeinated and wonderfully eclectic.” In an interview with Díaz, Sam Anderson writes that Díaz’s “receptivity to all the possible sources of inspiration is what makes Díaz’s work … so distinctively rich.” Díaz draws from every aspect of his history and our entire literary tradition to create vibrant characters who survive on many different borders, both physically and emotionally.

Díaz’s first book Drown was published to critical acclaim, featuring themes of absent fathers, immigrating from the Dominican Republic, and Díaz’s hallmark character Yunior—a nerdy, quirky teenager. The stories of Drown set the stage for Díaz’s later work, including his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and This is How You Lose Her. If you’re looking for heartbreaking and inspiring reading from one of the most acclaimed writers in the country, pick up any one of Díaz’s books.

We are honored to welcome Díaz to the North Carolina Literary Festival where he will read and hold a book signing at 7:00-9:00pm on Friday, April 4th, at the Hunt Library—1070 Partners Way, Raleigh.

While the Festival is free and open to the public, space is limited, and we ask that you reserve tickets for two of our authors, Junot Díaz and Richard Ford. For free tickets to see Junot Díaz, please visit this link: Richard Ford tickets can be reserved here: You may also reserve tickets at Quail Ridge Books & Music.

For more information about the programs of the Literary Festival and to download the full schedule of events, please visit the Festival website.

By: David Hiscoe

Hunt Library Teaching and Visualization Lab. ©Jeff Goldberg/Esto

Cited for “the creative and bold vision that went into designing an innovative model for a research library as a high-technology research platform,” the James B. Hunt Jr. Library at North Carolina State University has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Stanford Prize for Innovation in Research Libraries (SPIRL).

Judged by an international panel of library and academic leaders, SPIRL was established by the Stanford Libraries in 2013 “to single out for community attention and to celebrate functionally significant results of the innovative impulses in research libraries worldwide.”

“Our vision was to give NC State a signature library that would help us recruit the very best students and the very best faculty and to serve the community as an inspiring place of excellence and passion and ideas and vision,” says Susan K. Nutter, Vice Provost and Director of Libraries at NC State. “We could not be more honored that our vision and hard work have been awarded the Stanford Prize.”

By: Miranda Forman

Richard Ford

The NC State Bulletin just published an insightful interview with Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winner, bestselling novelist, and keynote author at the North Carolina Literary Festival.

An interview teaser:

When Richard Ford was a teenager, he knew what he wanted to be when he grew up: a hotel manager. Ford even went to Michigan State so he could enroll in the university’s highly regarded hotel science program. As it happened, he changed career paths a number of times — schoolteacher, science editor, law school student, ROTC cadet — before he decided to try his hand at writing fiction. He got a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing, tried and failed to get any of his short stories published, and had only modest success with two novels that did find a publisher.

That’s when Ford decided to quit fiction writing and become a sportswriter for Inside Sports magazine. That lasted a year until the magazine folded. He then applied for a job at Sports Illustrated; they didn’t hire him. At that point Ford did the only thing he could think of to do: he wrote a novel about a man who had abandoned a career as a fiction writer to become a sportswriter.

That novel, “The Sportswriter,” went on to become one of Time magazine’s five best books of 1986. His novel “Independence Day,” a sequel to “The Sportswriter,” is the only book to ever win both the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award. Since then he has published a number of critically praised and commercially successful books and story collections, most recently the novel “Canada” (2012). He may not be a hotel manager, but fiction writing seems to suit Richard Ford just fine.”

For Richard Ford’s own words about winning the Pulitzer, sportswriting, and the future of reading, please check out the rest of the interview.

As part of the NC Literary Festival, Ford will be reading on Sunday, April 6th, at 1:15PM in NC State’s Hunt Library. This is a ticketed event, and while tickets are free, they need to be reserved. Tickets are available at Quail Ridge Books & Music or online at

For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit the Festival website.

By: David Hiscoe

To make it easy for you to plan in advance to see your favorites among the over 100 authors, performers, and programs available April 3-6, the daily schedule for the 2014 North Carolina Literary Festival is now available, both online and on the Festival’s free app, which you can download to your mobile device from

The choices could be difficult, with winners of four Pulitzers, a half dozen National Book and National Book Critics Circle awards, many of your favorite North Carolina authors, the creator of the Goosebumps series, the author of The Jane Austen Book Club, and great programs for children in the Festival lineup.

Highlights include:

Thursday, April 3

  • Lev Grossman, book critic for Time magazine and author of Warp, Codex (an international bestseller), The Magicians (a New York Times bestseller) and The Magician King (also a Times bestseller).
  • Literary trivia at the Cameron Bar and Grill.

Friday, April 4

  • Junot Díaz, recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, winner of the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
  • Bourbon tastings, Irish lit and drink specials, the Monti storytelling contest, and The Morning After band in venues in downtown Raleigh.

Saturday, April 5

  • Writer, musician, and screenwriter James McBride, author of the landmark memoir The Color of Water and 2013 winner of the National Book Award.
  • R. L. Stine, the Stephen King of children’s fiction, as well as Paul Muldoon, Karen Joy Fowler, and William T. Vollmann.
  • North Carolina authors Jill McCorkle, Ben Fountain, and Daniel Wallace.
  • Panels on the future of storytelling, poetry, forensics, African-American women’s voices, and first novels.
  • A host of activities for children and parents.
  • Workshops on bookmaking, pop-up books, comics, and making electronic music.

Sunday, April 6

  • Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of The Sportswriter and its sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land.
  • North Carolina authors Lee Smith, Wiley Cash, Elizabeth Spencer, Allan Gurganus, and the NC Literary Hall of Fame and the Lee Smith Award.
  • Additional events for children and young adults, including The Story Squad and Poetry Out Loud

The majority of the NC Literary Festival will be held in and around NC State’s new James B. Hunt Jr. Library.  As the “face of NC State in the 21st century,” this new space has generated international attention for its iconic architecture, its transformative technologies, and its simulation and large-scale visualization spaces that encourage and enable new forms of storytelling. The Hunt Library will serve as the centerpiece for the NC Literary Festival’s theme, “The Future of Reading.”

The NC Literary Festival is hosted on a rotating basis by the academic libraries at NC State University, Duke University, and the University of North Carolina.  The event is free and open to the public.


Laureate sponsors for the 2014 festival include PNC, Our State magazine, The Friends of the Library of North Carolina State University, and the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources that has administered grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the federal Library Services and Technology Act.

By: Miranda Forman

Richard FordWith the NC Literary Festival only two weeks away, it’s time to start thinking about who you’ll want to hear. Meet Richard Ford, one of our keynote authors whose six published novels and four collections of short stories have earned him recognition as one of the most powerful authors of his generation.

Often exploring characters who are navigating the dissolution of the cultural institutions around them, Ford is best known for his novels The Sportswriter, Independence Day, and The Lay of the Land, which focus on Frank Bascombe, a real estate agent in New Jersey, and follow him through various stages of his life. Independence Day was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the first time the same book won both prizes.

Ford’s latest work Canada, published in 2012, narrates the story of Dell, an abandoned 15-year-old boy who flees from Montana to Canada, seeking, as one critic has pointed out about Ford’s work as a whole, “consolation and redemption in a chaotic time.” The novel is, as The New York Times concluded, “a masterwork by one of our finest writers working at the top of his form.”

Richard Ford currently lives in Maine with his wife, Kristina Ford. We are honored to welcome him to the North Carolina Literary Festival, where he will read and hold a book signing from 1:15-3:00pm on Sunday, April 6th, at the Hunt Library—1070 Partners Way, Raleigh.

While the Festival is free and open to the public, space is limited, and we ask that you reserve tickets for two of our authors, Richard Ford and Junot Díaz. For free tickets to see Richard Ford, please visit this link: Junot Díaz tickets can be reserved here: You may also reserve tickets at Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh.

By: Miranda Forman

On Sunday nights from 9:00-10:00, you can explore the mysteries of the universe in the Hunt Library’s iPearl Immersion Theater with renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s new television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. Investigating mysteries from the smallest molecules to the Milky Way, the popular weekly show promises to explain “how we discovered the laws of nature and found our coordinates in space and time.”

The visuals and stories of Cosmos are stunning, and even more so in the Immersion Theater. The first two episodes are available online, and we hope to see you next Sunday at 9:00pm!