Librarian of Congress James H. Billington joined the ranks of award recipients in attendance at the National Book Festival with the presentation by Half Price Books of its National Reading Advocacy Award for 2003.
"Dr. Billington is an outstanding individual who has helped create public interest in books, reading, literacy and libraries," said Sharon Anderson Wright, president and chief executive officer of Half Price Books, one of the nation's largest new-and-used bookstore companies and a supporter of numerous social programs.
Wright, along with company vice president Kathy Doyle Thomas, presented the award to the Librarian in the festival's media tent while BW, the Half Price Books bookworm, looked on.
The Librarian accepted the award "with much gratitude, not just personally, but on behalf of the staff of the Library of Congress."
He also accepted a copy of the ninth edition of "Say Good Night to Illiteracy." Published by Half Price Books, this beloved bedtime storybook pairs original stories by amateur authors with specially commissioned illustrations as a way of reminding parents to read to their children. The company treated hundreds of young festival-goers to a free copy of the publication.