September 1, 2000 Franklin the Turtle to Kick Off International Literacy Day at Library of Congress

Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

All events take place Friday, Sept. 8
"Law and Order's" Chris Meloni to Read to More Than 300 Kids

WHAT: Kick-Off of International Literacy Day at the Library of Congress

WHO: Franklin the Turtle, actor Chris Meloni, author Paulette Bourgeois and illustrator Brenda Clark of the Franklin book series, more than 300 kids

WHEN: 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Outdoor Plaza of the Library of Congress
Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E.

Formal Program to be Hosted by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington

WHAT: Program to announce the International Literacy Awards for 2000.

WHO: Librarian of Congress James H. Billington
Literacy and education professionals
Learners who have recently acquired literacy skills

WHEN: 10:30 - 11 a.m.

WHERE: Madison Building, Madison Hall


WHAT: Symposium "Literacy in the Information Age"

WHO: International literacy experts

WHEN: 1:30 - 3 p.m.

WHERE: Madison Building, Sixth Floor, Mumford Room


UNESCO estimates that 880 million adults throughout the world, two-thirds of them women, do not know how to read or write, and that more than 113 million children do not have access to an adequate education.

The event begins outside on Madison Plaza at 9:30 a.m. with storytelling and "read alouds." Information booths and table displays will highlight "best practices" in reading promotion and literacy development as well as recent information and studies concerning literacy.

The 13 sponsoring organizations are the Association of American Publishers, the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, the International Literacy Institute, the International Reading Association, the National Institute for Literacy, Reach Out and Read, Reading Is Fundamental, SIL International, United Nations Children's Fund, UNESCO, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of Education, and the World Bank.

For further information, contact the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, telephone (202) 707-5221. The Center for the Book was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, libraries and literacy. For information about its program, publications and the activities of its affiliated centers in 40 states and the District of Columbia, visit its Web site at


PR 00-128
ISSN 0731-3527