In cooperation with Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA), a longtime national reading promotion partner of the national Center for the Book, several affiliated state centers recognized unique literary landmarks in their states during 1999.
On Nov. 5, Texas's first lady, Laura Bush, participated in ceremonies designating the O. Henry House and Museum in Austin as Texas's first literary landmark. The house, nominated for the honor in the FOLUSA Literary Landmark program by the Texas Center for the Book, was the home of writer O. Henry, whose real name was William Sydney Porter. He lived there with his family from 1893 to 1895, writing his first short stories while publishing his newspaper, The Rolling Stone. The designation event coincided with the opening of the Texas Book Festival, which Mrs. Bush chairs. The Texas Center for the Book, located at the Dallas Public Library, sponsored a booth at the festival, which was held in Austin on Nov. 6-7.
On July 21, the centennial of writer Ernest Hemingway's birth, the Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Ill., celebrated the occasion with a four-day conference and rededication of the restored Hemingway birthplace in Oak Park. As part of the rededication, the Illinois Center for the Book, in conjunction with FOLUSA, designated the home a literary landmark and presented the Hemingway Foundation with a plaque to be placed on the home.
In April, FOLUSA and the Virginia Center for the Book, which is located at the Library of Virginia in Richmond, recognized the historical influence on American literature of Hollins College in Roanoke by designating the campus's new Wyndham Robertson Library as a literary landmark. In making the presentation, Deborah Hocutt, executive director of the Virginia Center for the Book, acknowledged Hollins's reputation for launching some of the most powerful voices in literature. "For a state so rich in literary history and achievement," she said, "it is appropriate that Hollins, the commonwealth's first women's university, is publicly recognized for its 157 years of literary achievement."
Books at the World Bank
Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole was one of the speakers on Sept. 8 at the annual celebration of International Literacy Day, which was held in the Atrium of the World Bank's headquarters in Washington. Sponsored by the International Reading Association, the World Bank and the Center for the Book, the event featured exhibitions by organizations that promote literacy internationally, six brief presentations and a reception.
Winners of the 1999 International Literacy Awards were also announced.
The Center for the Book's exhibit booth featured literacy and reading
promotion brochures and a selection of posters from around the world.
Books on Fifth Avenue
For the seventh consecutive year, the Center for the Book participated in "New York Is Book Country," one of the nation's largest and busiest book fairs. More than 250,000 book lovers attended the fair, held on Sept. 26 on Fifth Avenue, which was blocked off between 48th and 57th streets from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Center for the Book shared exhibit booths with two of its national reading promotion partners: Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA). Staff members distributed information and answered questions about the Library of Congressand the Center for the Book's program at both booths.
A "readathon" with fairgoers of all ages participating was the highlight of the Center for the Book/FOLUSA booth, located between 54th and 55th streets. The Center for the Book/AIGA booth, between 49th and 50th streets opposite Rockefeller Center, featured the 1998 winners of the 50 Books/50 Covers competition for the best-designed books and book covers. The show is now a traveling exhibition. For information, contact Gabriela Miresky, AIGA, 164 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010, telephone (212) 807-1990, ext. 231, e-mail: [email protected]