DALLAS — She loved writing and reading, and as a financial journalist, she helped others understand complicated subjects with clear, concise reporting. Later, as an award-winning author, she fell in love with creating narrative nonfiction for young readers, taking on hot-button topics from Roe vs. Wade to gun control.

What You Need To Know

  • A new branch of the Dallas Public Library will dedicate part of its facility to the late Dallas journalist and author Karen Blumenthal

  • The new Forest Green Branch Library will be around the corner from the old facility, one of the oldest and smallest branches in the city’s public library system

  • A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the library will be held on Sept. 25 a 10 a.m.

But perhaps more than others in an internet-dominated world of short attention spans, Karen Blumenthal loved libraries and believed in their importance to a community. When the Dallas City Council proposed sharp cuts to public library funding, Blumenthal and another Dallas Public Library board member dressed up as Dr. Seuss characters at a public meeting, where they dressed down the council members in a Seuss-style rhyme to express their opposition.

On Saturday, Sept. 25, Dallas Public Library will honor Blumenthal when it officially opens the new Forest Green Branch Library with the library auditorium and its children’s section named for the journalists and author. 

The new library will be located around the corner from the old facility and will increase in size by more than 10,000 square feet. The library will be a significant upgrade from the current facility, which is one of the oldest and smallest branches in the city’s public library system. 

Dedicating part of the new branch’s facilities to Blumenthal has significant meaning for many in the community it serves. In fact, her lobbying helped persuade the city to restore library funding after years of budget cuts and to include about $10 million in a 2017 bond issue for the new Forest Green branch.

Blumenthal was a native Dallasite. She attended Duke University, where she was the editor of The Chronicle. She returned to Dallas after graduation and worked first as a reporter and then as an editor at The Dallas Morning News. She later worked for the Wall Street Journal, where she spent 25 years covering business and finance from the Dallas bureau. Her husband, Scott McCartney, also worked at The Journal and remains a columnist at that paper. 

Blumenthal took night classes at Southern Methodist University in the early 1990 and received her M.B.A. In 2002, she turned to book writing, particularly for young adults after she discovered a lack of nonfiction books available for younger readers, such as her daughter. 

In total, Blumenthal wrote 12 books, including biographies on Steve Jobs and Hillary Clinton. Her last book, “Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights,” was published as a young adult selection in 2020. 

Blumental died suddenly in May 2020 of a heart attack. She was 61.

Shortly after her death, friends and family began a fundraising campaign to enhance Forest Green with materials, equipment, and programming. The campaign has raised more than $108,000, according to the Friends of Dallas Public Library. 

The official ribbon-cutting at the new Forest Green branch starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 9619 Greenville Ave. in Dallas.