September 14, 2005 Library of Congress to Join First Book to Supply Victims of Hurricane Katrina

“Book Relief” Project To Be Represented at the National Book Festival on Sept. 24

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022 | Danny Maiello (202) 828-8899
Public Contact: (888) 714-4696

The Library of Congress and First Book will join together to place millions of books into the hands of children and families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The “Book Relief” project will be represented in the Pavilion of States at the National Book Festival on the National Mall on Saturday, Sept. 24. A celebration of the joys of reading, the National Book Festival is organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress.

“On Sept. 24, First Book will be part of the National Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States, adjacent to the tables representing Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama,” said James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress. “At the First Book table, members of the public will be able to learn about and contribute to this ambitious effort to provide appropriate books to individuals of all ages, as well as to libraries, schools and other institutions affected by Hurricane Katrina.”

“First Book greatly appreciates the support of the Library of Congress in supporting Book Relief,” said Kyle Zimmer, president of First Book. “We are enlisting additional partners throughout the leadership of the publishing industry, and we look forward to working with the educational, library, business and service communities throughout our country.”

First Book is one of 85 organizational members in the national reading promotion partnership network of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Created by law in 1977, the Center for the Book, with affiliates in every state, uses the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books and reading. It also coordinates the National Book Festival’s Pavilion of the States, which highlights the library, reading and literacy promotion programs of all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four American territories.

First Book is a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to give new books to children in need across the country.

Further details about “Book Relief” will be available on the Web sites of First Book (, the National Book Festival ( and the Center for the Book (


PR 05-198
ISSN 0731-3527