By JOHN Y. COLE
Forty-five organizations took part in the Center for the Book's annual reading promotion partners' "idea exchange" at the Library of Congress on March 30.
In addition to sharing information about their reading and literacy promotion programs, representatives from partner organizations presented project opportunities to other organizations and discussed their participation in the Let's Read America Pavilion I on Oct. 4 at the 2003 National Book Festival. Sixty of the center's 85 reading promotion partners, all nonprofit organizations, displayed materials and discussed their projects in one of the festival's most popular pavilions.
At the March 30 idea exchange, each organization made a brief presentation, often supplemented by materials displayed on the exhibit tables. Sally Anderson, head of the Vermont Center for the Book, made a guest presentation, inviting participation by partners in a new national project being organized by the Vermont center.
The Center for the Book's reading promotion partnership group, which includes educational, civic and library organizations, is one of the two partnership networks in the center's long-standing national and international outreach program. The other is the affiliated state center network, which began in 1984 and now includes all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The reading promotion partners' network formally started in 1987 when the Center for the Book launched "The Year of the Young Reader," its first national reading promotion campaign. Momentum grew through the 1989 "Year of the Young Reader" and 1991 "Year of the Lifetime Reader" campaigns.
The reading and literacy promotion activities of the Center for the Book's organizational partners vary according to each group's purpose, but each has developed a cooperative relationship with the Center for the Book and its continuing program of reading promotion themes and projects. Information about each organization and its projects is available through the Center for the Book's Web site at www.loc.gov/cfbook. In addition, the Web site provides up-to-date information about current and forthcoming book and reading promotion projects, such as state book festivals and author awards and "one book" community reading and discussion projects.
John Y. Cole is director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.