In January the Center for the Book became a participant in "The Book Guys," a weekly call-in show about books on National Public Radio (NPR).
Hosted by Allan Stypeck, president and founder of Washington's Second Story Books, and radio personality Mike Cuthbert, "The Book Guys" focuses on questions from listeners about book values and book collecting, as well as forthcoming events in the world of books. Best-selling author Nicholas Basbanes (A Gentle Madness: Bibliophiles, Bibliomanes and the Eternal Passion for Books) is a frequent guest. Diane Kresh and Merrily Smith of the Library's Preservation Directorate have also been on the program. "The Book Guys," which recently completed its first year, is now broadcast on 20 NPR stations.
Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole, now a regular guest, adds his perspective about reading and libraries and the work of state centers for the book around the country. He also arranges for reading promotion partners of the Center for the Book to describe the grass roots work of their organizations.
Since the beginning of 1997, Joanie Chase of Everybody Wins, Jim Wendorf of Reading Is Fundamental Inc. and Kimberly Taylor, executive director of the Colorado Center for the Book, have discussed their organizations and answered questions about their projects. The Center for the Book also sponsors a quiz on each program in which listeners are asked to identify an author or a quotation about books; the prizes often are a T-shirt or book from the Center for the Book. "The Book Guys" also announces forthcoming events from the center's National Book Events Calendar, which is now a feature of the center's World Wide Web site (http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/).
The show's slogan is "Reading Is a Family Affair," and it has begun promoting "Building a Nation of Readers," the Center for the Book's national reading promotion theme for 1997-2000.
"The Book Guys" is recorded "live-to-tape." Listeners can call (800) 828-Book; the show's producer will call back to schedule a time to be on the show. The line is open 24 hours a day.
To reach "The Book Guys" write Box 769, Rockville, MD 20848-0769 or call Chris Philips at (301) 881-0113.
"The Sound of Writing" Continues on NPR
Since January 1996, the Center for the Book has been the sponsor and producer of "The Sound of Writing: America's Short Story Magazine of the Air," a National Public Radio series hosted by writer and NPR literary critic Alan Cheuse. Each 30-minute program features readings of two original short stories. Broadcast as part of the "NPR Playhouse," "The Sound of Writing" is heard on more than 40 NPR stations.
13 State Center Affiliates Renewed for 1997-1999
Today there are 31 state centers for the book officially affiliated with the LC Center. Once a proposal from a state is approved, the affiliation lasts three years; renewals, also for three-year terms, must be formally requested and accompanied by a description of each state center's recent accomplishments. In January, Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole announced that applications from 13 of the state centers due for renewal had been approved: Alaska, California, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
"Our state center network began in 1984 when the Center for the Book's national advisory board approved an application from Florida," said Dr. Cole. "Illinois was approved in 1985, then Michigan, Oklahoma and Oregon in 1986, and we were on our way. Today the reading promotion work of the state centers is at the heart of our activities."
State centers do not receive any direct financial support from the LC Center. They are asked to work with the Library of Congress in promoting books, reading, literacy and libraries and in raising public awareness of their own state's literary and cultural heritage. They must be statewide in governance, support and activities, and state libraries must be closely involved, if they are not the home of the state center.
Proposals for new state centers must explain how the organization would serve a useful and constructive purpose in the state and how it would fulfill a function not currently being performed by any other organization or statewide coalition. The organizing group should represent a coalition of prominent book, library, civic and educational groups from throughout the state. A statewide advisory board is needed.
Representatives from affiliated state centers meet once a year at the Library of Congress to exchange ideas and information. This year's meeting is on Monday, May 5, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; observers are welcome, but reservations are needed. For guidelines and further information about establishing a state center for the book affiliated with the Library of Congress, contact the Center for the Book, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540-4920, (202) 707-5221 (telephone), (202) 707-0269 (fax), or visit the Center's web site at: http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/.
Wisconsin "Print Culture" Conference Announced
The Center for the Book is a co-sponsor of "Defining Print Culture for Youth: Children and Reading Since 1876," a conference on May 9-10 in Madison, Wis. The Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America is the principal organizer and sponsor, with additional support from the Highsmith Co. and the University of Wisconsin Bookstore.
Anne Scott McLeod of the University of Maryland is the keynote speaker. Conference sessions are: "Reading Nancy Drew"; "Constructing Images: African Americans in Print"; "Turn-of-the-Century Children as Readers"; "Communists and Consumers"; "Growing Up Female"; "Heroes and Villains: Reading Masculinity"; "A Lesson in Civics: Reading in Democracy"; "Gender and Authorship: Toward a Fabrication of Self"; "The Visual and the Virtual: The Changing World of Children's Publishing"; "Starting Out: Lessons from Early Readers"; and "Curious Kids: Sex in the Texts".
The Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America is a joint project of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin State Historical Society. Conference registration information is available at (608) 264-6598 or e-mail: [email protected]