19 Things To Do At The 2017 Library Of Congress National Book Festival
by TeachThought Staff
From a press release
On Saturday, September 2 in Washington D.C., the 2017 Library Of Congress National Book Festival will take place, with a huge assortment of kids-centered activities free and open to the public.
From a great lineup of authors—including more than 40 who write for children and teens—to special guests like Captain Underpants and new, exciting activities designed to delight and inform, the 2017 Library of Congress National Book Festival will be a literature adventure for kids of all ages.
The 17th National Book Festival will be held at the Washington Convention Center from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 8:30 a.m. ET) on Saturday, Sept. 2. The event is free and open to the public. The Convention Center Expo Floor (located on the lower level in Halls A, B, and C) will include two dedicated children’s stages and family-friendly activities from the Library of Congress and festival sponsors.
Families should start the day by picking up a children’s guide to the festival at the Expo Floor information booth and both Children’s stages (also available online). The guide, created by the Mensa Foundation and the Library Congress for the sixth year, provides tips on where to go and what to see.
Among the many children’s authors appearing at the festival are Newbery Medalist Kwame Alexander; Lincoln Peirce, author of the uber-popular Big Nate series for kids; two-time Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo; Dav Pilkey, beloved creator of Captain Underpants; and best-selling teens author Angie Thomas.
Festivalgoers can learn about the Library’s diverse collections and services through engaging talks and performances by curators and entertainers at the Library of Congress Town Square. Family-friendly presentations include trivia sessions, an interactive maze illustration by Joe Wos, a special session with illustrator Roz Chast and appearances by the recently announced 2017 National Student Poets, five outstanding youth poets from across the nation for their original work. Library curators will showcase their collections with children’s and teens’ activities throughout the day.
19 Things To Do At The 2017 Library Of Congress National Book Festival
1. Celebrate the joy and importance of reading with a visit to the Literacy Corner, presented by the Library of Congress Literacy Awards Program, from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Parents, children, caregivers, and educators can write or videotape a message to their favorite author at the Letters about Literature table. Festivalgoers also can grab a cape and transform themselves into a literacy superhero at the Library Superhero-selfie booth. They can bring a friend for a game of Book Bean-Bag Toss and learn more about award-winning organizations that promote literacy worldwide.
2. The Library’s Educational Outreach team makes learning fun for kids, families, and teachers with activities featuring books, primary sources and giveaways at the Kids & Teachers – Read & Learn booth. Visitors can solve puzzles, share their favorite book titles and demonstrate their artistic and writing abilities. Inspired by the 30th anniversary of “Where’s Waldo?,” the Library is hosting a hide-and-seek game, featuring historic images from the Library’s collections, and partnering with Candlewick Press for a fun hunt for three Waldos hidden on the Expo Floor. Look for this elusive traveler, enter to win a prize and share your photo with Waldo @NatBookFest #ifoundwaldo.
3. Kids with a nose for adventure will also delight in taking photos with Candlewick Press characters Maisy the loveable mouse and Nutbrown Hare. Both characters will make appearances at the festival.
4. Wells Fargo returns this year with children’s storytimes every half hour from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. The sponsor is also bringing out its D.C. Scores Zone, a fun place for people to celebrate soccer and learn more about D.C. United and meet the team mascot, Talon. As usual, the Wells Fargo Stagecoach and hands-on history activities also will be on-site. Wells Fargo will provide ASL interpretation all day.
5. Attendees can interact with representatives from their home states and learn about each state’s literary heritage from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. in the Pavilion of the States. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), makes it possible for an affiliate of the Library’s Center for the Book in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories to participate in the festival.
6. The “Discover Great Places Through Reading” brochure offers a list of 52 great reads and a map for kids that encourages them to visit all 52 affiliates to get a unique sticker or stamp. Many of these books will be for sale in the festival bookstore.
7. Kids who collect all 52 stickers from the Pavilion of the States can pick up a special prize at the Junior League of Washington (JLW) table. JLW returns this year as the Library’s primary partner for volunteer support, a role the organization has played since 2003. More than 400 JLW volunteers will manage the book-signing lines and staff other locations throughout the festival. More information about JLW’s mission and literacy focus can be found at the organization’s table the day of the festival.
8. Celebrate literature with The Washington Post through an exciting series of activities. Families are invited to attend animated readings by local children’s book authors every hour from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and pick up color-your-own bookmarks throughout the day. The Post’s mascot, Ned the Newshound, will make a special appearance from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to pose for photos with festivalgoers.
9. As part of the Post’s longstanding partnership with the festival as a charter sponsor, more than 20 Washington Post journalists and editors will moderate discussions with authors. A special stand-alone edition of the Post’s “Book World” covering festival programming will be available at the information booth and at the Post Pavilion.
10. Visitors will be able to celebrate and engage with the humanities at the National Endowment for the Humanities booth. Attendees can see demonstrations of Walden, a first-person video game that re-creates the life and experiences of Henry David Thoreau at his enclave on Walden Pond. Posters, bookmarks, reading challenges, book lists and resource guides are available for librarians, teachers, and readers of all ages. Pose with cutouts of historical figures Jane Austen, Frederick Douglass and Alexander Hamilton. A. Scott Berg, editor of “World War I and America” and the biographer of Woodrow Wilson and Charles Lindbergh, will also stop by in the afternoon.
11. Scholastic returns to the festival with an array of activities, giveaways and live-poetry performances the whole family can enjoy. Festivalgoers can pose for photos with their favorite literary characters, including Clifford the Big Red Dog®, Captain Underpants and Dog Man. Families will also enjoy the Reading Corner, featuring exciting new books and engaging read-alouds every hour from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
12. Reading is Fundamental (RIF) will have fun giveaways, including bookmarks, stickers, pens, and totes. Visitors will learn about current programs and experience Literacy Central, RIF’s new, free digital portal with thousands of activities, games, reading passages and lesson plans designed to help parents and educators foster a love of reading and build literacy development in children. They can also enter a raffle for one of RIF’s classroom book collections.
13. The White House Historical Association will feature American historian William Seale and photographer Bruce White in their booth all day signing books and answering questions about the president’s house. Seale and White also will be on the Library of Congress Town Square stage at 2:35 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to discuss their collaboration on the Association’s award-winning books on the history of the White House and the president’s neighborhood. The booth also will have free copies of White House History, the association’s quarterly journal. Contributors to the publication will be in attendance to answer questions.
14. The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) sponsors the Poetry & Prose stage of author presentations (Room 145AB), which will again feature readings by and discussions with award-winning writers and poets, many of whom have received NEA Literature Fellowships. The Poetry & Prose stage will open with performances by student champions from Poetry Out Loud, an NEA and Poetry Foundation program in which high-school students memorize and perform classic and contemporary poems in competition.
15. The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center and the poetry organization Split This Rock will present the National Book Festival Youth Poetry Slam in Teens at 6 p.m., showcasing some of the nation’s top youth slam groups. Champion delegates from these groups will compete to be named top youth slammer by performing new works on books and reading.
16. Authors with fans of all ages will discuss their books on the Graphic Novels stage in the West Salon from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The program will be presented with the assistance of the Small Press Expo and moderated by Washington Post Comic Riffs author Michael Cavna.
17. C-SPAN2’s Book TV will broadcast live from this year’s National Book Festival—as it has been for every festival. Its coverage of the festival will include author presentations and author call-in segments from the Book TV set. The network will also provide its ever-popular festival bag—this year in purple—available at information booths, the bookstore and outside the History & Biography stage.
18. PBS Book View Now, the nationally distributed book and author channel, will provide seven hours of live coverage at the 2017 National Book Festival. Book View Now’s live-stream presentation will air from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET at BookViewNow.org and PBS.org. Coverage will be hosted by Book View Now’s executive producer, Rich Fahle.
19. NPR will be part of the festival throughout the day, with many of its well-known hosts, correspondents and critics introducing and interviewing authors.
These are just some of the activities planned for the National Book Festival. You can follow festival activities at loc.gov/bookfest/ or download the National Book Festival app for all the latest information.
About The National Book Festival
The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein.
About The Library Of Congress
The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.
Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.