The mission of the national Center for the Book is to stimulate public interest in books, reading and libraries. To reach the state and local level, the national center thus far has authorized affiliated centers in 44 states and the District of Columbia. In 1984 it approved Florida as the first state center. In late 2001, it approved the most recent–Hawaii and New Jersey. Most of the affiliated centers are located either in state libraries or large public library systems, but seven (Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) are hosted by universities and five (Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee) are hosted by state humanities councils. Affiliations are for three-year periods, and each center needs to apply for renewal every three years. Its application outlines past accomplishments and future programming and funding plans. Each state center must provide its own financial and in-kind support.
State Center Renewals
In December 2001, the national Center for the Book approved renewal applications from all nine state centers eligible for renewal, extending their respective affiliations through the end of 2004. The renewed state center affiliates and their founding dates are: Kentucky (1992), Michigan (1986), Montana (1990), North Carolina (1992), Oklahoma (1986), Oregon (1986), Utah (1999), Washington (1989) and Wyoming (1995). For further information about the national program and the activities of each affiliate, visit the Center for the Book's Web site at www.loc.gov/cfbook.
Michigan Promotes Its Authors and Illustrators
The Michigan Center for the Book, located at the Michigan State Library, continued its sponsorship of the multivolume Voices of Michigan, an anthology of poetry, fiction and nonfiction that showcases Michigan's new authors. The third volume was published in 2001.
The center began collaborating with the Michigan Association of Media in Education to produce online a searchable database, Michigan Authors & Illustrators. In 2002 it is planning a Literary Landmark event honoring John Donaldson Voelker (1903-1991), a Michigan Supreme Court justice who under the pen name Robert Traver wrote the best-selling Anatomy of a Murder (1958) and many other works. On Nov. 1, the center will be one of the sponsors of the Michigan Author Award ceremony at the annual meeting of the Michigan Library Association.
Alabama Gets Started
The new (2001) Alabama Center for the Book, hosted by the Center for the Arts & Humanities at Auburn University, helped host one of the national Center for the Book's Viburnum family literacy training workshops, which was held in Montgomery on Aug. 22-24, 2001. It also is one of several state organizational sponsors of Books Give Us Wings-Help Our Children Fly, Alabama's family reading calendar for 2002 (above), a project developed with Alabama first lady Lori Allen Siegelman.
Montana Launches Book Festival
In 1998 the Montana Center for the Book moved from the Montana State Library in Helena to the Montana Committee for the Humanities in Missoula. One of the new projects, beginning in 2000, was the first Montana Festival of the Book, cosponsored by the center and the Humanities Committee. The second festival, held on Sept. 6-8 in Missoula, featured more than 100 writers in more than 60 sessions, with a cumulative attendance of 5,300.
Other successful cooperative Montana Center for the Book projects include the development and printing of Montana's Millennial Literary Map (2000); participation in the national center's Letters About Literature project; promotion and involvement in the humanities-based Prime Time Reading program, supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities; and sponsorship of "Let's Talk About It" reading and discussion programs in four Montana communities, with funding from NEH and the American Library Association.
North Carolina Launches "NC Reads NC"
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the North Carolina Center for the Book in 2002, the center has embarked on "NC Reads NC," a statewide poetry promotion project honoring North Carolina's poets and their art. State Poet Laureate Fred Chappell inaugurated the program with a reading and signing on Oct. 5 at the North Carolina Biennial Conference, held in Winston-Salem.
Because the North Carolina State Library is its host, the North Carolina center is involved in several reading promotion, humanities and exhibition projects supported by the state library and funded by the American Library Association, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the North Carolina Humanities Council and other organizations. It also participates in national Center for the Book projects such as Letters About Literature, River of Words and the Mother Goose Asks "Why?" project organized by the Vermont Center for the Book.
Wyoming Reaches Across the State
Located at the Wyoming State Library in Cheyenne since its creation in 1995, the Wyoming Center for the Book promotes books and reading through several diverse projects. Its newsletter, Sage Readers, is distributed throughout the state twice a year to individuals, bookstores and libraries. Its annual Wyoming Authors Bookmark, also distributed widely, lists a sampling of books by new authors. It maintains an online Wyoming Authors Database. On Oct. 27, 2001, it cosponsored the first Wyoming Bookfest, which featured the poets laureate from Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and Nebraska. Like North Carolina, it participates in the Letters About Literature, River of Words and Mother Goose Asks "Why?" projects.