May 29, 2007 Five State Centers for the Book Recognized for Innovative Reading Promotion Projects

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302

Affiliated state centers for the book from California, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana and Maine are the 2007 winners of the Boorstin Award for innovative reading promotion projects, announced John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. 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. Daniel Boorstin died in 2004. Cole presented the awards at the 2007 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 39 states and the District of Columbia attended the two-day meeting, which featured lively discussions about current Center for the Book reading promotion projects such as Letters About Literature, River of Words and “one book” community reading and discussion projects, as well as center participation in the Library’s Lifelong Literacy initiative and the Pavilion of the States at the National Book Festival. 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, most of which come through tax-deductible contributions. Since 1984, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have created statewide affiliates that carry the center’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 2007 Boorstin Awards winners and their founding dates, host institutions and achievements are as follows: CALIFORNIA (1987), Department of Information Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles – The California Center for the Book was honored for its new “Book Clubs in a Box” and “Mysterious California” reading promotion programs and for its concise new public slogan and focus: “We help librarians and teachers get California reading.” GEORGIA (1998), DeKalb County Public Library in Decatur – The Georgia Center for the Book was recognized for its success as a co-founder and sponsor of the new Atlanta Journal-Constitution Decatur Book Festival and “All Georgia Reads” projects, as well as for its extensive program of statewide author presentations. ILLINOIS (1985), Illinois State Library in Springfield – The Illinois Center for the Book was commended for several projects that honor Illinois authors, including the Illinois Emerging Writers Competition, the “Illinois Authors Directory” and the Illinois Literary Heritage Award. LOUISIANA (1994), Louisiana State Library in Baton Rouge – The Louisiana Center for the Book was honored for its work in planning a successful 2006 Louisiana Book Festival after the 2005 festival was canceled because of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and for its creative support for Louisiana public libraries during their hurricane recovery efforts. MAINE (1998), Maine Humanities Council in Portland – The Maine Center for the Book received a Boorstin award for its innovative and wide-ranging community-based programs that promote reading and the discussion of books and ideas relating books to society, including Community Reading Seminars, Stories for Life, Born to Read, Teachers for a New Century and New Books, New Readers. For more information about the Center for the Book, visit


PR 07-109
ISSN 0731-3527