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April2007
HOME Fascinating Rhythm Let Your Fingers Do the Walking Take a Look, It's in a Book Thomas Jefferson Was a Poet, and We Didn't Even Know It Da Plane! Da Plane! Everybody Plays the Fool...Sometime on April 1 Before It Was A Movie . . . It Was A Media Sensation
Take a Look, It's in a Book

Few institutions have more profound an effect in shaping young minds than do libraries. There is something comforting about the smell of books in a library, whether it emanates from the hot-off-the-presses copy of the latest Harry Potter novel or from the well-worn pages of classics like “Little Women.” With April showers keeping many of us indoors, what better time to curl up with a good book, especially during National Library Week, April 1–7, or National Reading Is Fun Week, April 15–21?

Wyckoff children. Two boys reading on couch. ca. 1920–1950. “The Arabian Nights: their best-known tales” / edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith; illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. 1909.

In April 2006, the Library launched a literacy initiative, Lifelong Literacy, aimed at inspiring children and their families to adopt reading as a favorite pastime. The Web site pulls together the most fascinating items in the Library’s collections that pertain to reading and literacy. Now kids and their families can digitally turn the pages of such rare, priceless volumes as “The Arabian Nights,” ca. 1909; “The Raven,” by Edgar Allan Poe, ca. 1884; and “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” by L. Frank Baum, ca. 1899, 1900.

An event not to be missed for book lovers young and old is the Library’s National Book Festival, which brings together acclaimed authors, poets and illustrators to discuss and sign copies of their latest works. This year’s festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between 7th and 14th Streets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine). The festival is free and open to the public. For a taste of what these celebrations of books and readings are all about, visit the National Book Festival Web site.

But literacy isn’t just about books. It’s also about appreciating history, exercising imagination and learning. Designed especially with young people in mind, America’s Story invites visitors to take a journey through time to discover the nation’s story. Ever wonder about the real Wild West or want to learn fascinating facts about your state? Ever tried your hand at creating a cartoon or scored a home run with your knowledge of baseball? All that and more awaits you online.


A. Wyckoff children. Two boys reading on couch. ca. 1920–1950. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-H812-T-1373-003 (interpositive). Publication may be restricted. For information see “Horydczak Collection”; Call No.: LC-H812- 1373-003 <P&P>[P&P]

B. “The Arabian Nights: their best-known tales” / edited by Kate Douglas Wiggin and Nora A. Smith; illustrated by Maxfield Parrish. 1909. Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction information not available.