September 3, 2009 Library of Congress Brings National Book Festival Direct to Mobile-Phone Users

Press Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940 | Jeanette Casselano (202) 828-8833
Contact: An online pressroom is available at
Website: National Book Festival

The Library of Congress has launched its first-ever mobile campaign to provide National Book Festival-goers with SMS text alerts about the festival, which will be held on the National Mall from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 26. By texting ‘BOOK’ to 61399, mobile-phone users can opt in to receive the latest festival announcements, as well as author presentation and signing schedules; standard messaging rates apply. Presentation and signing schedules are also available on the National Book Festival website (

The mobile text campaign is one of many interactive features to bring booklovers up-to-the-minute information about the festival. Festival-goers also have the option to receive updates for this year’s event such as author activities, day-of event details and more, by following the Library on Twitter (@librarycongress, hashtag #nbf) or becoming a fan of the Library on Facebook (

Other online additions include new downloadable author podcasts, which can be accessed free of charge through the Library’s website or on iTunes. These recordings feature candid interviews with award-winning authors George Pelecanos, James Patterson, Rickey Minor, Nicholas Sparks, and more. Additionally, The Washington Post is hosting live online discussions in the week leading up to the festival with several participating authors, including Annette Gordon-Reed, Ken Burns, and Douglas Brinkley.

Whether participating in-person or online, festival-goers will discover endless activities to indulge their love of books and reading. More than 70 celebrated authors, poets and illustrators are participating in this year’s event, including James Patterson, Jon Scieszka, Nikki Grimes, John Grisham, Judy Blume, Jodi Picoult and Walter Mosley.

Parents and kids will explore the world of literacy in the PBS KIDS Raising Readers pavilion, featuring live stage performances by Elmo and Chris from Sesame Street, sing-alongs with PBS KIDS’ SteveSongs, story readings and skill-building activities. Young readers can pose for pictures with their favorite PBS KIDS characters, including the cast of Super Why, Martha from Martha Speaks, Leona and Cleo from Between the Lions and Duck from Word World, as well as other book-based characters such as Curious George and Maya & Miguel.

In the Let’s Read America pavilions, children and families will enjoy a range of activities including taking photos with Bullseye, the Target dog, and coloring in the Bullseye Book of Activities. At the Scholastic Family Corner, families and children can create their own books and also learn about volunteer opportunities through Clifford the Big Red Dog’s BE BIG!™, a national campaign that invites everyone, big and small, to take action. Additional activities, story times and photo opportunities will be available courtesy of the Washington Post, AT&T, US Airways,, the Penguin Group and the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union.

New to the festival is the Digital Bookmobile, a high-tech exhibit powered by OverDrive, which supports reading and literacy with eBooks from libraries. Equipped with Internet-connected PCs, sound systems and a “Gadget Gallery,” the Digital Bookmobile enables visitors to browse a public library’s website, sample popular eBook, audiobook, music and video titles, learn how to download, and try out supported mobile devices.

The 2009 National Book Festival is made possible through the support of Target, the Distinguished Benefactor; Charter Sponsors PBS KIDS Raising Readers and The Washington Post; Patrons AT&T, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The James Madison Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts; Contributors Borders, Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union, Penguin Group (USA),, Scholastic Inc., and US Airways; and Friends the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation, The Hay-Adams, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV for providing onsite coverage of the festival and to the Junior League of Washington for providing 400 volunteers for the event.

The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website,, and via interactive exhibitions on


PR 09-164
ISSN 0731-3527