May 9, 2006 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

Five State Centers for the Book Recognized for Innovative Reading Promotion Projects

Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole recently announced that affiliated state centers from Alabama, Idaho, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming were the 2006 winners of the Boorstin Award for innovative reading promotion projects.

Each award includes a $1,000 cash 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. Boorstin died in 2004.

Cole presented the awards at the 2006 state center for the book “idea exchange” on May 1 and expressed his hope that the award-winning projects would stimulate new reading promotion ideas and partnerships across the nation. State center coordinators from 33 states attended the annual two-day idea exchange, which featured lively discussions about current reading promotion projects such as Letters About Literature, River of Words, “one book” community reading and discussion projects, and the Pavilion of the States at the National Book Festival, which the Library sponsors, hosted by First Lady Laura Bush. Possible future projects were discussed as well.

The Center for the Book was created in 1977 as a public-private partnership to use the resources of the Library of Congress to stimulate public interest in books and reading. The Library pays the center’s staff salaries, but all program and other expenses must be supported by contributions from the private sector, mostly tax-deductible donations.

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

The 2006 Boorstin Award winners and their achievements are:

ALABAMA. The Alabama Center for the Book’s recent “Alabama Get Caught Reading” initiative was adopted by the Association of American Publishers as a “national model.” The center, hosted by the Center for the Arts & Humanities at Auburn University, also was commended for its strong statewide partnerships with the Alabama Writers’ Forum and the Alabama State Council for the Arts.

IDAHO. The Idaho Center for the Book, located at Boise State University, was honored for its exceptionally creative book arts program, which includes “Booker’s Dozen,” a biennial traveling exhibition of contemporary artists’ and eccentric books designed and produced by Idahoans, and “Idaho Authors!” an educational card game for the entire family.

NORTH CAROLINA. The North Carolina Center for the Book was recognized for bringing book and author discussion programs more prominently into the national Center for the Book network, for efficiently managing the Center for the Book’s listserv and for helping to coordinate state participation in the Pavilion of the States at the National Book Festival. The center is hosted by the State Library of North Carolina.

WEST VIRGINIA. The West Virginia Center for the Book, which is hosted by the West Virginia Library Commission, was commended for three successful initiatives, each skillfully West Virginia-tailored,-produced and -funded: One Book, One West Virginia, a statewide book discussion group; a new West Virginia literary map; and “In Their Own Country,” a radio project that includes a set of CDs that features visits with 14 West Virginia writers.

WYOMING. The Wyoming Center for the Book was recognized for its success in promoting Wyoming’s writers and literary heritage in a variety of ways, including the Wyoming Authors Database and through the pages of its handsome quarterly publication, “The Wyoming Library Roundup.”

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PR 06-109
ISSN 0731-3527