National Book Festival
The National Book Festival is an American event that the Library of Congress organizes annually on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Held in early autumn, the festival attracts tens of thousands of people each year (in 2011, nearly 200,000 were in attendance). Over fifty nationally published authors, illustrators, and poets are invited for lectures, readings, interviews, and book signings. The Festival also features various child-oriented attractions.
First Lady Laura Bush first hosted the festival when it was established in 2001 and continued through 2008. Previously, as First Lady of Texas, Laura Bush helped establish the Texas Book Festival. The honorary co-chairs from 2008 to 2012 have been President and Mrs. Obama.
Librarians from libraries across the country are invited every year to represent each state. In 2012, the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and commercial sponsors such as Target and AT&T help provide funding for the event.
There are several pavilions set up on the lawn of the National Mall for visitors to peruse. The Author Pavilions are where the hundreds of authors selected for the event present their works and sign their books. At the Library of Congress Pavilion visitors can experience the inner workings of the library. Let’s Read America Pavilion offers children events and activities related to reading. Pavilion of the States offers visitors a chance to experience literary traditions from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories. Book Sales Pavilion is where visitors can purchase select books by the authors presenting at the festival.
Any visitor interested in keeping up with the current news of the National Book festival can follow the convention one of three ways: subscribe to the events RSS news feed; Subscribe to the events email alert system or Follow the Library of Congress on Twitter.
Authors are nominated to participate in the festival each year by their publishers. The requirements are that the authors are nationally known and have published a recent work. Preferred candidates would be authors that have won awards. On average 300 authors are nominated but only 80 are selected to present their works at the festival.
The festival is operated by volunteers and it easy to sign up. There are only two requirements becoming a volunteer at the festival: commit to working a half a day (one shift) at the festival and attend a briefing session. Volunteers are always welcomed and anyone who is interested can visit the Library of Congress website for more information.
- "Library of Congress National Book Festival 2012". Poets.org. Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
- "Sponsors & Supporters". 2012 National Book Festival. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
- "Information". . Library of Congress. Retrieved 2013-09-05.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". 2013 National Book Festival. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "Volunteer for the National BookFestival". . SLA. Retrieved 2013-08-29.