Library of Congress National Book Festival Features Interactive, Family-Centered Activities

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Library of Congress National Book Festival invites children and families to discover award-winning authors, reading programs and resources in libraries across the country, lifelong literacy activities and much more.

The 2006 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Mrs. Laura Bush, will feature a variety of family-centered activities on Saturday, Sept. 30, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Festival goers can have books signed by their favorite authors, and children can meet NBA and WNBA players and ever-popular storybook and television characters, such as Arthur the Aardvark, Maya and Clifford the Big Red Dog, who will appear on the festival grounds throughout the day.

Authors appearing in the “Children” and “Teens & Children” pavilions include Andrew Clements, Stephenie Meyer, Richard Peck, and Louis Sachar, as well as award-winning illustrators Bryan Collier, Betsy Lewin and Mark Teague. In addition, the “Home & Family” pavilion will feature popular personalities such as puppeteer Kevin Clash, the voice of Sesame Street's Elmo; chefs G. Garvin and Marcus Samuelsson; Rosalind Wiseman, whose book “Queen Bees & Wannabes” inspired the hit movie “Mean Girls;” and popular linguistics expert Deborah Tannen, whose new best-selling book is titled “You’re Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation.”

Also in the “Teens and Children” pavilion, the national student winners of the Letters About Literature contest will read their personal letters to authors who inspired them. Sponsored by the Library’s Center for the Book with support from distinguished benefactor Target, Letters About Literature invites young readers in grades 4-12 to write personal letters to authors, past or present, who have changed their views of the world or of themselves. Each year, winners are selected at the state and national levels. As the project’s corporate sponsor, Target awards the six national winners and their parents with a trip to the National Book Festival in Washington, to share their winning letters with a national audience.

Beyond meeting their favorite authors, festival visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the reading programs and resources in libraries across the country. The “Let’s Read America” pavilion will feature reading promotion activities developed by select festival sponsors. The festival’s popular “Pavilion of the States” will promote literacy, reading and the literary traditions of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U. S. Territories, and a number of authors will visit the “Pavilion of the States” to greet fans from their home state. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), for the fifth consecutive year, is sponsoring the participation of representatives from libraries and state centers for the book from across the nation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. IMLS (http://www.imls.gov), the primary source of federal funds and leadership for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

In the Library of Congress Pavilion, participants can engage in a variety of interactive activities about the importance of lifelong literacy, cultural preservation, and preserving digital culture. Computers will be available for children and adults to explore the Library’s acclaimed Web site at http://www.loc.gov. The Library’s myriad online resources contain examples of American creativity in all forms such as music, poetry, films, photographs, maps, and sound recordings. The Library’s new National Audiovisual Conservation Center will introduce the latest technologies in film and audio preservation. The Veterans History Project (VHP) will feature a teacher and her students who use VHP material in the classroom, and two students will interview Ezra Hill, a Tuskegee Airman.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL BOOK FESTIVAL

The 2006 National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by Mrs. Laura Bush, will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th streets (rain or shine). The festival is free and open to the public.

The 2006 National Book Festival is made possible with generous support from the following:

Distinguished Benefactor: Target

Charter Sponsors: AT&T, The Amend Group, The Washington Post

Patrons: AARP, James Madison Council, National Endowment for the Arts

Contributors: Barnes & Noble, Marshall and Dee Ann Payne, NBA/WNBA, PBS, Penguin Group (USA), Scholastic Inc.

Friends: Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Endowment for the Humanities

For more information about them and the festival, visit http://www.loc.gov/bookfest.

ATTENTION MEDIA

A media repository is available for press to download background materials, high-resolution images, video and audio sound bites, b-roll and other audiovisual resources, as well as to request interviews with participating authors. This information can be accessed via the Press Registration: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/registration.php

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Danny Maiello
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