September 6, 2013 Exciting, Educational and Fun Activities Planned at the 2013 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Free Event to Take Place on National Mall Sept. 21 and 22

Contact: Jennifer Gavin (202) 707-1940

An abundance of fun, fascinating activities will be offered by the organizations sponsoring the Library of Congress National Book Festival. Visitors to the festival – adults and children alike – can enjoy activities that stimulate imagination and creativity.

The National Book Festival will take place on the National Mall between 9th and 14th Streets on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on Sunday, Sept. 22 from noon to 5:30 p.m. The event, free and open to the public, will take place rain or shine.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the first lady, are the honorary chairs of the event. The Distinguished Benefactor of the festival is David M. Rubenstein, who co-chairs the National Book Festival Board with Dr. James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress.

National Book Festival sponsors The Washington Post, Wells Fargo, AT&T and Scholastic will offer engaging activities on Saturday and Sunday in the Let’s Read America pavilion.

In that pavilion, The Washington Post will host a bookmark-creation station and a festival-themed photo backdrop. The Post’s mascot, Ned the Newshound, will make a special appearance on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to pose for photos. In addition, as part of The Post’s long-standing partnership with the Library of Congress National Book Festival since its inception in 2001, a special edition of “Book World” covering the festival will be available at information booths.

The Wells Fargo Stagecoach returns to the National Mall. The Wells Fargo Concord coach will stop at the Let’s Read America pavilion, allowing festival-goers the opportunity to see this moving piece of history up close and have their picture taken inside it. Children can hear stories, participate in coloring activities and learn about the Wells Fargo Stagecoach as they build replica stagecoach banks. They can also learn about Hands on Banking, an innovative and entertaining financial literacy program. There will be free giveaways, including Scholastic books, deputy pin stickers and more.

New this year will be Wells Fargo’s Conversation Nation team asking fun reading-related questions and collecting answers that reveal what festival-goers are saying in a real-time poll. A dynamic video wall will show pictures of participants and how answers are trending.

Wells Fargo will also present its Buffalo Bill stagecoach, within the History & Biography pavilion that it is sponsoring for a third year, showcasing its link with the six-horse coaches that once sped across the vast plains and high mountains of our nation. Festival-goers can take photos of it and learn its historical significance.

AT&T is also a founding sponsor of the National Book Festival and will again invite festival-goers to pose for a photo with Dipper, the AT&T Cares star, and to meet some of AT&T's volunteers and pick up a festival souvenir. AT&T will also have free children’s book giveaways from its partner, Zoobean.

Scholastic will showcase a sneak peek at artwork by beloved children’s illustrators who were asked to demonstrate what “Read Every Day” means to them and will ask kids and parents at the festival to share their thoughts on why they love reading on a giant chalkboard. Festival-goers can visit Scholastic’s Storia™ reading corner for e-read-alouds from its new e-reading app, showcasing Scholastic’s exciting digital offerings and delighting kids. Scholastic also will host the popular "Build-a-Book" station that lets visitors turn a blank book into a masterpiece.

In the PBS KIDS pavilion, parents and children will explore the world of literacy featuring live sing-alongs with SteveSongs, story readings, and skill-building activities and learn about the new PBS KIDS show “Peg + Cat” which airs Oct. 7. Young readers can pose for pictures with their favorite PBS KIDS characters, including Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, Arthur, The Cat in the Hat, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Curious George, Daniel Tiger from Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Martha from Martha Speaks, the cast of SUPER WHY!, WordGirl and Peg and Cat from the new PBS series. Educators can also learn all about PBS KIDS teacher resources.

Returning to the festival is the Digital Bookmobile, a high-tech exhibit powered by OverDrive, which supports reading and literacy with eBooks from libraries. Interactive learning stations in the Digital Bookmobile give visitors an opportunity to search a library's digital catalog, use compatible mobile devices and sample popular eBook, audiobook, music and video titles. This high-tech update of the traditional bookmobile is equipped with Internet-connected PCs, HD monitors, premium sound systems and portable media players, which help visitors explore digital services from their library.

C-SPAN2’s Book TV will televise presentations (C-SPAN2 has covered every National Book Festival) and will again provide the ever-popular festival book bag – this year in vibrant orange. The C-SPAN Bus will be open for tours on Saturday and Sunday during the festival for visitors to learn about C-SPAN2’s Book TV (celebrating its 15th year on cable), the First Ladies series and more.

Festival-goers can also visit representatives of their home states and learn about each state’s literary heritage on Saturday in the Pavilion of the States. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the major pavilion sponsor of the pavilion, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The IMLS/NEH support allows an affiliate of the Library’s Center for the Book in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands to come to the festival. Guests are invited to collect state stickers and stamps and "Discover Great Places Through Reading."

The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors the Poetry & Prose pavilion, which will again feature performances by award-winning students of Poetry Out Loud, an NEA and Poetry Foundation program that encourages high-school students to memorize and perform great poems.

The 2013 National Book Festival poster, by renowned illustrator Suzy Lee (who will also speak at the Festival on Sunday), can be downloaded from the festival website at Copies of the poster will also be distributed free to festival-goers. C-SPAN2 will also provide free book bags for visitors to the festival.

More than 100 authors and illustrators scheduled to participate in the National Book Festival will make their presentations in the Children’s, Teens’, Fiction & Mystery, Poetry & Prose, History & Biography and Contemporary Life pavilions. On Sunday there will be two additional pavilions – Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Graphic Novels and Special Programs.

Mensa Education & Research Foundation worked with the Library for a second year to create a Children’s Guide and a Teacher’s and Youth Group Leader’s Guide to the festival. The guides will be available online at and distributed at the festival.

The 2013 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of National Book Festival Board Co-Chair David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors The Institute of Museum and Library Services, Target, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patrons AT&T, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS; Contributors Barnes & Noble, Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, The Hay-Adams and Scholastic Inc.; and—in the Friends category—the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, the National Endowment for the Humanities and Small Press Expo.

Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV, the Junior League of Washington, The Links, Incorporated, and Mensa Education and Research Foundation.

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library’s website,, and via its National Book Festival site,


PR 13-156
ISSN 0731-3527