National Book Festival
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The National Book Festival is an annual American event in Washington, D.C. that the Library of Congress Center for the Book has organized since 2001. Held in early autumn on the National Mall from 2003 to 2013, the event will move to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in 2014 because the National Park Service, which has jurisdiction over the Mall, has become concerned about the damage that pedestrians have inflicted on the Mall's lawn during previous Festivals. The 2014 event will take place on August 30, about a month earlier than previous festivals.
First Lady Laura Bush hosted the Festival from 2001 to 2008. Previously, as First Lady of Texas, Mrs. Bush had helped establish the Texas Book Festival. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were honorary co-chairs from 2009 to 2013.
On Saturday, September 8, 2001, Mrs. Bush hosted a breakfast at the White House for participating authors, followed by the opening of the first Festival at 10 a.m. Tents were set up on the East Lawn of the United States Capitol, with both adults' and children's authors reading excerpts from their works throughout the day. A storytelling pavilion and a pavilion representing organizations involved in promoting reading and libraries were open to the public.
Book-signings, book sales, and panel presentations on children's, mysteries, poetry, and children's books were held in the Library of Congress' Thomas Jefferson Building. The Library's exhibition galleries and reading rooms presented programs to inform and entertain visitors on such topics as book illustration. A clinic was held to show visitors how to preserve family photos and documents.
The 2002 Festival took place on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol. National Park police estimated that between 40,000 and 45,000 people came to the festival, an increase from their estimate of 30,000 visitors to the 2001 Festival.
In 2003, the Festival moved to the National Mall. A number of pavilions were set up on the Mall during the eleven years that the Festival took place in that National Park. Authors presented their works and signed their books at Author Pavilions. At the Library of Congress Pavilion, visitors experienced the inner workings of the library. The Let’s Read America Pavilion offered children events and activities related to reading. The Pavilion of the States offered visitors the opportunity to experience literary traditions from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. territories. At the Book Sales Pavilion, visitors could purchase select book that the authors presenting at the Festival had written.
More than 200,000 people attended the 2012 Festival. In 2013, over 100 authors, illustrators, and poets received invitations to present lectures, readings, interviews, and book signings at that year's event.
Librarians from across the country are invited each year to represent their States at the Festival. 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 helped provide funding for the 2012 event.
Volunteers help operate the Festival. Each volunteer makes a commitment to attend a briefing session and to work half a day (one shift) at the Festival.
Publishers nominate authors to participate in the Festival each year. Authors must be nationally known and must have published a recent work. Authors that have won awards are preferred nominees. On average, 300 authors are nominated but only 80 are selected to present their works.
The Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction is presented during the Festival.
- "Festival Information". 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- Charles, Ron (2014-01-08). "National Book Festival to relocate from the Mall to the D.C. convention center". Style. The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
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(2) "Library of Congress National Book Festival 2012". Poets.org. Academy of American Poets. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
- "National Book Festival 2001". Laura Bush: First Lady. The White House. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
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(2) Fineberg, Gail (November 2002). "2002 National Book Festival: Second Annual Event Celebrates the Power of Words". Library of Congress Information Bulletin. Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "2003 National Book Festival to be Held October 4 on the National Mall". News Releases: News from the Library of Congress. Library of Congress. 2003-03-14. Archived from the original on 2014-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "More than 100 Authors to Speak at Library of Congress National Book Festival". News Releases: News from the Library of Congress. Library of Congress. 2013-09-19. Archived from the original on 2013-01-12. Retrieved 2014-01-12.
- "Sponsors & Supporters". 2012 National Book Festival. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2012-08-24.
- "Volunteer for the National BookFestival". Washington, DC Chapter . SLA. Retrieved 2013-08-29.
- "Frequently Asked Questions". 2013 National Book Festival. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2013-08-29.