More than 150,000 book lovers flocked to the tenth annual National Book Festival held September 25, 2010, on the National Mall. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama acted as honorary chairs of the free festival, which was sponsored by the Library of Congress. For many families, the most popular tent was the Pavilion of the States, supported for the ninth year by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
The Pavilion of the States salutes the literary traditions of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. Representatives from state libraries and Centers for the Book provided information and answered questions about their state’s authors, libraries, book festivals, book awards, and reading-promotion activities. Thousands of children raced to each state table getting state stamps on their maps of America. IMLS awarded a prize to each person who successfully filled the entire map.
“The National Book Festival is a highlight of our year. We celebrate books and literacy with state librarians and other state representatives who are staffing the pavilion and have the honor of meeting visitors from all over the world. We especially love seeing the children and their families excited about reading,” said IMLS Acting Director Marsha L. Semmel.
Hundreds of visitors stopped by the IMLS table to nominate their favorite library or museum for the National Medal for Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for those institutions that provide exceptional community service.
To learn more about the National Medal, visit www.imls.gov/medals. For those who were unable to attend the festival, authors’ presentations are available as podcasts at www.loc.gov/podcasts. Click here to see photos taken at every state library table: http://www.imls.gov/news/2010/092810c_photos.shtm