The Washington Mall is the site of the Library of Congress ninth annual National Book Festival, held this year on Saturday, September 26th, 2009 in Washington D.C.
Scores of authors, illustrators and poets will be making presentations throughout the day in pavilions for Children, Teens & Children, Fiction, Mysteries & Thrillers, History & Biography, and Poetry & Prose.
The popular Pavilion of the States site is back. Festival visitors can learn about the reading and literacy promotion projects as well as the literary traditions of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. Representatives from throughout the nation will provide information and answer questions about their writers, libraries, book festivals, book awards and reading promotion activities. In addition, several festival authors and illustrators will make scheduled visits to their state’s table to greet fans and sign autographs.
Children and families can enjoy reading-promotion activities in the Let’s Read America Pavilions.
The Library is going to great lengths to make this year’s Festival truly a national event. To provide festival-goers – and all Americans who wish to remotely attend - with the latest event news and information, the LOC has added a variety of social networking features, including updates through Twitter and Facebook. To receive up-to-the-minute reportage, follow the Library on Twitter (@librarycongress, hashtag #nbf) or become a Fan of the Library on Facebook.
The Library also will offer a new collection of podcasts featuring interviews with festival authors. Available free of charge through the Library’s website or on iTunes, these personal interviews make it possible for book-lovers around the country to participate. Event webcasts will also be made available on the Library’s site this year and have been archived from previous festivals.
Book-lovers will also enjoy the launch, at the festival, of the website read.gov, which will pull together all of the Library’s literary-promotion programs into a single, accessible platform for readers of all ages.
The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website, and via interactive exhibitions on myLOC.gov.
The National Festival of Books is a bipartisan event, something all Americans can enjoy regardless of political persuasion, and a locus of sanity in our nation’s capitol. With the United States seriously challenged by the rise of the educated classes in the developing world and intense, increased global competition, reading is an act of patriotism, leaves of text our flag. An educated populace of readers with an appreciation of books, always necessary for democracy to optimally function, now rises to an act of national survival; in a democracy a citizenry that does not read is doomed.