The Library promotes the joy of reading through several national programs:
More than a century ago, the Library began providing materials to its patrons in
Washington with special visual and physical needs. Then, in 1931, an act of Congress
established what is now called the Library's National Library Service for the Blind
and Physically Handicapped, which coordinates service to patrons on a nationwide
basis. Today, hundreds of thousands of readers receive millions of Braille books and
magazines and recorded materials through a network of nearly 140 cooperating
libraries around the country.
Established in 1977, the Library's Center for the Book fosters public interest in
books, reading and libraries through its affiliated state Centers for the Book in every
state and the District of Columbia.
The Children's Literature Center works with organizations, educators,
librarians and other who serve children to assist them in the study, interpretation and
dissemination of books produced for children.
Since 2001, the Library has organized and sponsored the annual National Book
Festival, which brings together famous authors, storytellers and book-lovers to the
National Mall in Washington, D.C.
In 1936, the Library created a position that is today called the Poet Laureate
Consultant in Poetry. From Robert Penn Warren to Robert Frost and from Rita
Dove to Billy Collins, the Poets Laureate, through readings and special programs,
have provided a unique focus for poetry and literary endeavors for three generations.
Poetry 180, a Web site created by Billy Collins, brings poems to students (and adults
too) every day of the school year.