September 30, 2010 Harvard University Library Director to Make "The Case for Books"

Robert Darnton to Discuss and Sign His New Book

Press Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217
Public Contact: Center for the Book (202) 707-5221

An intellectual pioneer in the field of the history of the book and director of Harvard University’s Library, Robert Darnton will discuss and sign his new work: “The Case for Books: Past, Present and Future” (Public Affairs, 2010) on Friday, Oct. 15, at noon in the West Dining Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

Part of the Books & Beyond author series sponsored by the Center for the Book, the event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

“The Case for Books” offers an in-depth examination of the book from its earliest beginnings to its shifting role today in popular culture, commerce and the academy. Darnton, in his introduction, calls this work “an unashamed apology for the written word, past, present and future. It is also an argument about the place of books in the digital environment that has now become a fundamental fact of life for millions of human beings.” Darnton is the founder of the Gutenberg-e program, a collaborative effort of the Columbia University Press and the American Historical Association committed to exploring and promoting the electronic publication of scholarly writing.

Darnton’s book is also the subject of a discussion on Facebook. The Books & Beyond Book Club is available at Here readers can discuss books, the authors of which have appeared, or will appear, in this series. The site also offers links to webcasts of these events and asks readers to talk about what they have seen and heard.

The Center for the Book ( was established by Congress in 1977 “to use the resources and prestige of the Library of Congress to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries.” With its many educational programs that reach readers of all ages, through its support of the National Book Festival and through its dynamic state centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Center for the Book has developed a nationwide network of organizational partners dedicated to promoting the wonders and benefits of reading. The center also oversees the < website, with its exclusive “Exquisite Corpse Adventure” serialized story.


PR 10-217
ISSN 0731-3527