Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940

September 13, 2012

Educational and Fun Activities Abound at the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Free Event to Take Place on National Mall Sept. 22 and 23

An abundance of fun, fascinating activities will be offered by the organizations sponsoring the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Visitors to the festival -- adults and children alike -- can enjoy activities that stimulate imagination and creativity.

The National Book Festival will take place on the National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 23, from noon to 5:30 p.m. The event, free and open to the public, will take place rain or shine.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the first lady, are the honorary chairs of the event. The Distinguished Benefactor of the festival is David M. Rubenstein, who co-chairs the National Book Festival Board with Dr. James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress.

Target is proud to be a Charter Sponsor of the 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival. Education is at the heart of Target’s giving. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit to the community—currently more than $3 million a week. Target is on track to reach $1 billion in giving to education by the end of 2015. A key goal of this giving is to help more U.S. children read proficiently by the end of third grade. At the festival, Target will offer author readings and musical entertainment on the Family Storytelling Stage to help parents and caring adults nurture youngsters’ love of reading. Target also returns to the festival with its Storybook Station, where children and adults can enjoy their favorite books or participate in activities that stimulate their artistic and creative abilities.

Other sponsors offering engaging activities in the Let’s Read America pavilion include The Washington Post, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Scholastic, and LEGO Systems Inc.

As a sponsor since the festival’s inception in 2001, The Washington Post is dedicated to the principle that an inquisitive and informed reader is a good citizen. As part of the Post’s long-standing partnership with the Library of Congress National Book Festival, festival-goers are invited to pick up a special edition of the publication’s "Book World" section in the Let’s Read America pavilion.

The Wells Fargo Stagecoach is returning to the National Mall. The Wells Fargo Concord coach will stop at the Let’s Read America pavilion, allowing festival-goers the opportunity to see this moving piece of history up close and have their picture taken inside. Wells Fargo historians will be on hand to describe a collection of stagecoach-related artifacts on display, and festival-goers can try their hand at a trivia and lasso contest to win a stuffed pony. Children can hear stories, participate in coloring activities and learn about the Wells Fargo Stagecoach as they build replica stagecoach banks. Wells Fargo also brings to the festival demonstrations of Hands-on Banking, an innovative and entertaining financial literacy program. Wells Fargo will also present its Buffalo Bill stagecoach within the History & Biography pavilion which it is sponsoring for a second year, showcasing its link with the six-horse coaches that once sped across the vast plains and high mountains of our nation. Festival-goers can take photos of it and learn its historical significance.

AT&T has been a proud sponsor of the National Book Festival for 12 years. AT&T invites festival-goers to pose for a photo with Dipper, the AT&T Cares star, and to meet some of AT&T's volunteers and pick up a festival souvenir.

Scholastic invites festival-goers to the Biggest Birthday Ever, as Clifford the Big Red Dog turns 50. Scholastic will make it fun to share birthday wishes with this iconic pup on the Scholastic birthday wall. Meanwhile, Scholastic’s Storia reading corner will host e-read-alouds from its new e-reading app, showcasing Scholastic’s exciting digital offerings and delighting kids. Scholastic also will host the popular "Build-a-Book" station that lets visitors turn a blank book into a masterpiece.

Re-imagine story time in the LEGO Systems Inc. Read & Build Area, to read and build creatively with LEGO DUPLO bricks. Designed for children under the age of five (and parents) the Read & Build Area features scheduled playtimes consisting of 30-minute guided activities, inspirational songs and time for free building that will combine reading and building with LEGO bricks. Families are introduced to new ideas to encourage play and learning at home. Children will be inspired by the larger-than-life LEGO DUPLO books and whimsical creatures.

In the PBS KIDS pavilion, parents and children will explore the world of literacy featuring live sing-alongs with SteveSongs, story readings and skill-building activities. Young readers can pose for pictures with their favorite PBS KIDS characters, including the cast of SUPER WHY!, Martha from Martha Speaks, The Cat in the Hat , Curious George and Arthur. Welcome the newest member of the PBS KIDS family, Daniel Tiger from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, a series inspired by Fred Rogers.

Returning to the festival is the Digital Bookmobile, a high-tech exhibit powered by OverDrive, which supports reading and literacy with eBooks from libraries. Specific to this year’s festival, the Digital Bookmobile will be showcasing the Books that Shaped America collection based on the current Library of Congress exhibition. Interactive learning stations in the Digital Bookmobile give visitors an opportunity to search a library's digital catalog, use compatible mobile devices and sample popular eBook, audiobook, music and video titles. This high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile is equipped with Internet-connected PCs, HD monitors, premium sound systems and portable media players, which help visitors explore digital services from the library.

Festival-goers can also visit representatives of their home states and learn about each state’s literary heritage on Saturday in the Pavilion of the States. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the major pavilion sponsor of the pavilion, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The IMLS/NEH support allows an affiliate of the Library’s Center for the Book in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands to come to the festival. Guests are invited to collect state stickers and stamps and "Discover Great Places Through Reading."

The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors the Poetry & Prose pavilion, which will again feature performances by award-winning students of Poetry Out Loud, an NEA and Poetry Foundation program that encourages high-school students to memorize and perform great poems.

The 2012 National Book Festival poster, by renowned illustrator Raphael López, can be downloaded from the festival website at Copies of the poster will also be distributed free to festival-goers. C-SPAN2 will also provide free book bags for visitors to the festival.

More than 125 authors and illustrators scheduled to participate in the National Book Festival will make their presentations in the Children, Family Storytelling Stage, Teens, Fiction & Mystery, Poetry & Prose, History & Biography and Contemporary Life pavilions. On Sunday there will be two additional pavilions -- Sci Fi, Fantasy & Graphic Novels and Special Programs.

Barnes & Noble is the official bookseller for the 2012 National Book Festival. Festival-goers can visit the book-sales pavilion on the festival grounds to purchase selected books by National Book Festival authors, 52 great reads chosen by State Centers for the Book, and select books published by the Library of Congress. Festival-goers can pick up books by featured authors en route to the book-signing areas.

The 2012 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors The Institute of Museum and Library Services, Target, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons AT&T, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble, LEGO Systems Inc., Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, and Scholastic Inc.; and—in the Friends category—the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction; The Hay-Adams and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV, the Junior League of Washington, and The Links.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website,, and via its National Book Festival site,

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PR 12-172
ISSN 0731-3527

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