June 3, 2005 Five State Centers for the Book Recognized for Innovative Reading Promotion Projects

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole recently announced that affiliated state centers from Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Pennsylvania and Texas were the 2005 winners of the Boorstin Award for innovative reading promotion projects.

Each award includes a $1,000 stipend. Funds to support the awards were donated to the Center for the Book by Ruth F. Boorstin, wife of former Librarian of Congress Daniel J. Boorstin (1975-1987), who established the Center for the Book in 1977. Dr. Boorstin died in 2004.

Cole said the award-winning projects would serve as models to other affiliated state centers in need of new reading promotion ideas and approaches.

The Center for the Book was created as a public-private partnership to use the influence and resources of the Library of Congress “to stimulate public interest in books and reading.” The Library supports the center’s staff salaries, but all program and other expenses must be paid through contributions from the private sector, mostly tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations, or by transfers from other government agencies.

Since 1984, all 50 states have created statewide affiliates that carry the Center for the Book’s mission to the state and local level. State affiliates provide their own financial and in-kind support and must apply for renewal every three years. There also is a District of Columbia Center for the Book.

The 2005 Boorstin Award winners are:

MASSACHUSETTS. The 2004 Massachusetts Book Awards, held at the State Capitol, continued the Massachusetts center’s effective use of statewide book awards as a year-round reading promotion activity that brings together the “Massachusetts community of the book.”

MICHIGAN. The Michigan Center for the Book has developed an innovative statewide affiliates system that has enlisted new partners, provided new income and greatly increased public awareness of the Michigan center and its activities.

MONTANA. The annual Montana Festival of the Book, begun in 2000, successfully highlights the center’s mission of promoting Montana literature, libraries and literacy.

The Montana center is a program of the Montana Committee for the Humanities, and the award also recognized the successful transition of the center from the state library to the Lewis and Clark Public Library and finally to the Montana Committee for the Humanities.

PENNSYLVANIA. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s innovative online Pennsylvania literary map is wide-ranging in scope and historical depth and a rich resource for information about the literature, history and culture of the entire state.

TEXAS. The Texas Center for the Book was recognized primarily for its energetic and innovative statewide author programming, particularly its new project, “Texas Latino Voices,” a series of free presentations by Texas Latino authors in Spanish and in English.

For further information about the Center for the Book and the activities of its affiliated state centers, visit its Web site at www.loc.gov/cfbook.


PR 05-136
ISSN 0731-3527