The National Book Festival is a great national treasure that I am honored to support.
(Vocus) May 7, 2010
David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and managing director of The Carlyle Group, announced today his donation of $5 million ($1 million per year for the next five years) to support the Library of Congress’s National Book Festival, which this year is celebrating its 10th anniversary, “A Decade of Words and Wonder.”
“The National Book Festival is a great national treasure that I am honored to support. There is perhaps no greater gift than to teach and foster reading among children. The Festival brings young and old alike face to face with authors in a one-day event that lives on long after the last reading. With this gift the festival will be secure in its funding for years to come,” Rubenstein said.
“The Library of Congress gratefully accepts David Rubenstein’s generous gift on behalf of Congress and the nation,” said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. “The gift will help ensure the stability of the annual National Book Festival, which last year attracted more than 130,000 book-lovers of all ages to the National Mall.”
With assurance of longer-term funding, the Library will now be able to expand the one-day festival into a fully integrated program that emphasizes books, reading, and the library as a place of discovery and learning.
Billington noted: “Mr. Rubenstein’s donation will secure the continuation of the Library’s integrated, national program dedicated to the promotion of books, reading, literacy and libraries–one of the historic core missions of this great institution.
“These programs, which celebrate our nation’s unparalleled imagination and creativity, now have a more certain future, thanks to Mr. Rubenstein’s generosity, which stems directly from his own love of books and reading.”
Billington and Rubenstein also announced the creation of the National Book Festival Board, of which the two men will be co-directors, which will advise, promote and support the Festival and assist with fundraising.
They emphasized the important historic and ongoing role of the National Book Festival’s sponsors and supporters, which have included Target, The Washington Post, The Amend Group, the James Madison Council, AT&T, PBS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Junior League among many others.
The 10th Annual National Book Festival, celebrating “A Decade of Words and Wonder,” will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25, 2010, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. (Additional details will be released soon.) The National Book Festival was first held in 2001 and was attended by about 30,000 people. It has grown in popularity over the past decade and in 2009 attracted approximately 130,000 lovers of books and reading. The National Book Festival and the Library’s reading-promotion programs are featured on the website Read.gov.
The Carlyle Group is one of the world’s largest private equity firms. Rubenstein co-founded the firm in 1987. Since then, Carlyle has grown into a firm managing more than $88 billion from 19 offices around the world.
Rubenstein, a native of Baltimore, is a 1970 magna cum laude graduate of Duke University. After Duke, Rubenstein graduated in 1973 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review. He is a member of the Library of Congress’s James Madison Council, a private-sector advisory group. A regent of the Smithsonian Institution and on the board of directors or trustees of many institutions, including Duke University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rubenstein is also the incoming chair of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at http://www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.
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