Book Festival Draws 120,000

American Libraries, November 2008 | Go to article overview

Book Festival Draws 120,000


More than 120,000 book lovers gathered September 27 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the eighth annual National Book Festival, organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush.

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Festival-goers were entertained by their favorite authors, illustrators, and poets as they celebrated creativity and imagination in standing-room-only theme pavilions: Let's Read America; Pavilion of the States; Children; Teens and Children; Fiction and Mystery; History and Biography; Home and Family; and Poetry. This year, LC used the festival to showcase its efforts to digitize rare documents and books, including a draft Declaration of Independence with handwritten edits by the Founding Fathers, and previewed the World Digital Library, set to debut in April 2009.

The 2008 National Book Festival marks the last year the event will be hosted by First Lady Laura Bush. She and her daughter Jenna Bush also presented their new children's book Read All about It! from HarperCollins.

Plenty for the kids to do

"The National Book Festival is a joyous celebration of reading and an inspiration for new generations of creativity," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "We are grateful to Mrs. Bush for making this a signature event in the nation's capital for the last eight years. Her love of reading has inspired millions to enjoy the Library of Congress in Washington and online and to use their own hometown libraries everywhere."

During the festival, children enjoyed photo opportunities with favorite storybook and cartoon characters such as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Maya and Miguel, Super Why, Sid the Science Kid, and WordGirl. …

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