Library of Congress

National Book Festival

Back to Festival Information

View the full schedule of family-friendly activities in the National Book Festival App, available on iPhone or iPad (external link), Android (external link), or web browser (external link).

Library of Congress

Stop by to meet the presidents! The Library has the personal papers of 23 U.S. presidents, and you can learn more about these fascinating documents here. How much do you know about the Library? Test your knowledge during trivia time. We are also the home of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. Find out about the services they offer. Our American Folklife Center staff will talk about treasures of the nation's culture. And there's more. Check out the schedule on the other side of this brochure.

Meet staff from the Library's Manuscript, Music, European, Hispanic, African and Preservation divisions and the Law Library and the Copyright Office and hear about the work they do. The Educational Outreach Division and Young Readers Center will offer fun activities and great prizes. You can learn how to publish your own zine, and there's live storytelling and maze activities here too. Don’t forget to stop by the primary sources exhibit, Traveling Stanzas, to turn some of the Library’s most historic documents into poems, then make a postcard of your work!

Parade of the States

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 Parade 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. State-library representatives are also participating. 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 state tables to get a unique sticker or stamp. These books are for sale in the festival bookstore.

Kids who collect all 52 stickers from the Parade of the States can pick up special prizes at the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Junior League of Washington (JLW) tables. JLW returns this year as the Library's primary partner for volunteer support, a role the organization has played since 2003. More than 350 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.

The Washington Post

Celebrate literature with The Washington Post through an exciting series of daylong 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 Lily, a women-focused publication of The Post, will host author Elizabeth Acevedo, for a lively discussion about her book "The Poet X" from 10 to 11 a.m. Festivalgoers can test their history knowledge during trivia hour hosted by The Post's history podcast, Retropod, from 3 to 4 p.m. Other activities will be available throughout the day. As part of the Post's longstanding partnership with the festival, more than 20 Washington Post journalists and editors will be participating in author programming throughout the festival. A special stand-alone edition of "Book World" covering the daylong programming is available at information booths.

Wells Fargo

In keeping with tradition, Wells Fargo will feature its reading area again this year to share a large assortment of children's books.  There will be readings every half hour from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  Please stop by Hall B on the Lower Level to see the full schedule. In addition, stop by for fun and games, including a bouncy horseracing game; an audio book zone; make your own bookmark; and of course, pictures in the Wells Fargo stagecoach.


PBS returns to the festival this year with THE GREAT AMERICAN READ, an eight-part television series and multi-platform reading initiative that shines a national spotlight on the importance of reading. Attendees can join the conversation and vote for their favorite novel, test their knowledge of literary trivia and take photos in our interactive photo booth. Across the hall PBS Books will be live-streaming interviews with festival authors. (Concourse Level Hall B Entrance).

National Geographic

What if there were a prestigious school for young people, based on the incredible adventures and expeditions, scientific breakthroughs and landmark discoveries of real National Geographic explorers? Well, thanks to National Geographic Kids' first fiction series, there is. Welcome to Explorer Academy, the coolest school on the planet! Do you love adventure, exploration, puzzles, codes and mysteries? Stop by the National Geographic booth to meet real-life explorers and get the inside scoop on their latest discoveries, test your skills with secret codes and ciphers, immerse yourself in an amazing virtual-reality experience, check out rare artifacts from our collection, and play games that spark your curiosity and knowledge of the world.

Scholastic Inc.

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, Dog Man and Captain Underpants. Families will also enjoy read-a-louds featuring exciting new books throughout the day beginning at 9 a.m.


Bookshare is a library of e-books that makes reading easier. Kids and adults with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy and other reading barriers can access a huge collection of titles in formats like audio, audio + highlighted text, large font, and digital braille, and customize their reading experience in ways that work for them. Bookshare is FREE for U.S. students with qualifying disabilities and less than $1 per week for unlimited reading for qualified adults! Stop by and experience reading in a whole new way. You can also pick up giveaways that enhance reading such as earbuds, mobile chargers, and more (while supplies last).

The Junior League of Washington

The Junior League of Washington (JLW) will return as the Library's primary partner for volunteer support, a role the organization has played since 2003. More than 350 JLW volunteers will manage the book-signing lines and staff other locations throughout the festival. The JLW is committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Learn more about the JLW mission and literacy focus at the JLW table.

Library of Congress Federal Credit Union

The Library of Congress Federal Credit Union will be on hand to celebrate the many ways reading enriches our lives and to salute those who open the world of reading to our children and to adults - from librarians, teachers, parents, family members, volunteer reading coaches, to anyone who ever sat down with a new reader and opened the door to the many worlds accessible only through books.

Mensa Foundation

Pick up a festival Children's Guide created by the Mensa Foundation and the Library, available at the Information Booth on the Lower Level and children's stages.

Reading Is Fundamental

Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) is committed to a literate America where all children have the opportunities that reading provides. Our model for impact is grounded in creating a culture of literacy for the children we serve - providing choice and access to books and engagement opportunities for these children and the educators, parents and caregivers who support them. RIF will have giveaways for attendees including free children's books plus RIF bookmarks and stickers!* Stop by to learn about RIF's programs and to experience RIF's newest on-the-go resource, the RIF Reading Log App in which reading time can be safely and easily listed, tracked and shared to positively motivate children's interest in reading. *While supplies last.

Whittle School & Studios

Enjoy family time in the Whittle School & Studios Workshop. Write a postcard about your favorite book, help us color and grow our artistic tree, listen as we read some of our favorite stories, and take home a special gift. We can't wait to meet you! By providing the tools, confidence and experiential learning – children's imaginations will soar. Join Us. Whittle School & Studios. Education Re-Imagined