Contact: Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress (202) 707-9217
Contact: Michael J. Borges, New York Center for the Book (518) 432-6952

January 13, 2010

New York Library Association Becomes Home of New York Center for the Book

The Library of Congress has approved a proposal from the New York Library Association that it become the new host of the New York Center for the Book.

"We are grateful both to the New York Library Association for its proposal and to Syracuse University for its past sponsorship of the New York Center for the Book," said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. "Each state center promotes books, reading, literacy and libraries in a different and appropriate manner. Syracuse University, particularly through the efforts of its E.S. Bird Library, has given the New York Center for the Book a strong foundation that has encompassed a wide range of book- and reading-promotion activities. We especially appreciate the center's enthusiastic involvement in Letters About Literature, our national reading and writing program for young readers."

The New York Center for the Book is part of the Library of Congress Center for the Book's network of centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These affiliates carry out the national center's mission in their local areas, sponsor programs that highlight their area's literary heritage and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries. Affiliates must submit an application to become part of -- and retain -- their Center for the Book status, which is renewable for a three-year period.

New program initiatives recently undertaken by the New York Library Association under the leadership of Executive Director Michael J. Borges are similar to several reading-promotion activities at the Library of Congress. The Empire State Book Festival, to be launched on April 10, is modeled on the National Book Festival. A New York State Writers' Hall of Fame is also being developed in conjunction with the book festival. The state's summer reading program is actively promoted with individual state legislators during the association's annual Library Lobby Day each March. Finally, the association soon hopes to undertake a One Book, One State initiative that will coincide with National Library Week and the Empire State Book Festival.

"NYLA is this nation's oldest state library association and one of its largest," said Borges. "We represent more than 4,000 members from college, public, school and special libraries from around the state. We look forward to partnering with other organizations, like the New York State Library and the New York Council for the Humanities, to spread the Center for the Book's message to all parts of our great state."

The Center for the Book (www.loc.gov/cfbook/) was established by Congress in 1977 "to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries." With its many educational programs that reach readers of all ages and through its support of the National Book Festival, the Center for the Book has developed a nationwide network of organizational partners dedicated to promoting the wonders and benefits of reading. The Center also oversees the new Read.gov website, with its exclusive "Exquisite Corpse Adventure" serialized story.

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PR 10-007
01/13/10
ISSN 0731-3527

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