DATE: September 30, 2009
MBLC Participates in National Book Festival
MBLC Commissioner Em Claire Knowles greets Massachusetts award winning author Lois Lowry at the National Book Festival. Over 130,000 attended the festival which promotes reading and literacy.
Book enthusiasts from across the country turned out in record numbers on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, September 26, 2009 to participate in the 9th annual National Book Festival.
Over 130,000 people came to meet their favorite authors and celebrate their love of reading. Julia Alvarez, Sharon Creech, Tim O'Brien, Shannon Hale, Jodi Picoult,and John Irving, were among 78 authors and illustrators who treated fans to discussions about their life experiences and what inspires them to create. Filmmaker Ken Burns also discussed his work which includes the documentary The Civil War and his newest project The National Parks: America's Best Idea.
Award-winning Massachusetts authors included Lois Lowry, Junot Diaz, Julia Glass, Mary Brigid Barrett and Tony DiTerlizzi. Diary of a Wimpy Kid author, Jeff Kinney and bestselling author of the Spiderwick Chronicles series, Holly Black (both Massachusetts residents) also presented to packed crowds at the Authors' Pavilions.
The MBLC and Massachusetts Center for the Book represented Massachusetts in the Pavilion of the States. Visitors were asked to vote for their favorite Massachusetts book.
The festival boasts pavilions for Children, Teens, History & Biography, Mysteries & Thrillers, Fiction & Fantasy and Poetry & Prose. The Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners(MBLC) and the Massachusetts Center for the Book (MCB) represented Massachusetts in the Pavilion of the States where reading and literacy projects, as well as the literary traditions of the 50 states, District of Columbia and U.S. territories are promoted.
MBLC Commissioner Em Claire Knowles joined MCB Director Sharon Shaloo to promote the rich culture of literature in Massachusetts. Families enjoyed voting for their favorite Massachusetts books from titles that included Little Women, Walden, Curious George, Johnny Tremain, and Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel.
The National Book Festival was founded by then-First Lady Laura Bush in 2001. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were honorary chairs of the festival, which is organized by the Library of Congress. For more information about the National Book Festival, please see: http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/
For more information about Massachusetts Center for the Book, including the Massachusetts Book Awards, please see: http://www.massbook.org/
Sharon Shaloo (right), Executive Director Massachusetts Center for the Book, greets visitors to the Massachusetts booth.
Media Coverage of the festival:
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.