May 22, 2008 Three State Centers for the Book Recognized For Innovative Reading-Promotion Efforts

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302; John Y. Cole (202) 707-5221

Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole has announced that affiliated state centers for the book from Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island are the 2008 winners of the Boorstin Award for innovative reading-promotion efforts. 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 2008 state center for the book “idea exchange” on May 13, and expressed his hope that the award-winning projects would stimulate new reading-promotion ideas and partnerships across the nation. State center coordinators from 40 states and the District of Columbia attended the two-day meeting, which welcomed several new state center directors and featured lively discussions about Center for the Book projects such as Letters About Literature, River of Words and “one book” community reading and discussion programs, as well as center participation in the Library’s Lifelong Literacy initiative and National Book Festival. Award-winning author Brad Meltzer, who will be featured at the 2008 National Book Festival on Sept. 27, was a guest speaker at the idea exchange luncheon and at the Library’s annual Library Legislative Day reception that evening. The reception also included remarks by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and American Library Association President Loriene Roy. Since 1984, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have created statewide affiliates that carry the national 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 from the Library of Congress every three years. The 2008 Boorstin Award winners, their host institutions and their award-winning achievements are as follows: KANSAS The Kansas Center for the Book was recognized for a successful transition to a new home at the State Library of Kansas, and its subsequent development into a highly-visible statewide resource program for promoting Kansas books and authors through many projects, including the new Kansas Notable Books list; the Kansas Reads annual one-book discussion project; sponsorship of the Kansas Reads to Preschoolers Project, and renewed participation in the national center’s Letters About Literature program after a four-year hiatus. For more information, visit OHIO The Ohio Center for the Book was recognized for a successful transition to a new home at the Cleveland Public Library, where the center has tackled—with the help of a redesigned, expanded and effective new Web site—many projects that promote and celebrate Ohio’s literary heritage. They include the award-winning new Ohio Literary Map, in partnership with the state library and the Ohioiana Library; the celebration of the literary heritage of Charles W. Chesnutt; and the new online Book Explorations author project. For more information, visit RHODE ISLAND The Rhode Island Center for the Book was recognized for a successful period of renewal under the leadership of the Providence Public Library, which resulted in increased individual and organizational membership. The center was also recognized for the effective continuation of its Reading Across Rhode Island signature event, the development of a new series of reading-promotion programs for specific constituencies, including young readers and the book arts, and for significant and effective marketing achievements like the creation of a new Web site and logo. For more information, visit


PR 08-106
ISSN 0731-3527