March 8, 2006 Maryland Humanities Council to Be New Home of the Maryland Center for the Book

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

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress announces that the Maryland Humanities Council has assumed responsibility for administering the Maryland Center for the Book, one of the national center’s 50 state affiliates. The previous host, Howard County Library, located in Columbia, Md., has become one of two new branches of the Maryland center; the other is the Talbot County Free Library in Easton, Md.

“This is a wonderful development and set of new partnerships that will greatly strengthen the Maryland center’s efforts to promote books, reading, literacy, libraries and Maryland’s literary heritage,” said Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole. “We are grateful to the Howard County Library for supporting the Maryland center for the past nine years and look forward to continuing our relationship in the newly configured center. Moreover the new satellite branch at the Talbot County Free Library will give the center a concentrated presence on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for the first time.”

Each state center must provide its own funding and apply for renewal of its affiliate status with the Library of Congress every three years on a staggered schedule. Maryland is one of 23 state centers that will renew in 2006.

“The Maryland Humanities Council, working in collaboration with Howard County Library and the Talbot County Free Library, welcomes this opportunity to fulfill the broad purposes of the Center for the Book in stimulating public interest in books and reading,” said Peggy Burke, executive director of the council. “Current projects such as Letters About Literature will be continued and expanded. We also will develop new humanities-based links and projects for the Maryland center, initially through reading and discussion programs, poetry outreach, clearinghouse activities and continued involvement with both the Baltimore Book Festival and the National Book Festival. Our new headquarters in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon Cultural District provide an ideal location for this important statewide program.”

Natalie Weikart, who has jointly served as the coordinator for the Maryland Center for the Book and as the Adult Programs Coordinator for Howard County Library, said, “Given the council’s statewide role and mission, it is in a strong position to build upon the current work of the center and to significantly expand its impact throughout Maryland.”

The Maryland Humanities Council creates and promotes public programs exploring the human experience to stimulate informed dialogue and civic engagement on critical issues shaping Maryland communities. For more information about the council and the Maryland Center for the Book, visit

The Center for the Book, established by law in 1977 as a public-private partnership, uses the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books, reading, literacy and libraries. For information about its activities and those of its affiliates in 50 states and the District of Columbia, consult


PR 06-059
ISSN 0731-3527