August 20, 2014 Exciting, Educational and Fun Activities Planned at the 2014 Library of Congress National Book Festival

Free Event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Saturday, Aug. 30

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 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30. The event is free and open to the public.

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 Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.

National Book Festival sponsors The Washington Post, Wells Fargo and Scholastic Inc. will offer engaging activities in the Let’s Read America pavilion from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

In Let’s Read America, 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 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to pose for photos. In addition, as part of The Post’s longstanding 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 festival. 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 pictures 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.

Returning 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 fourth 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.

Scholastic returns to the festival with an array of giveaways, tips and titles to help inspire the joy and power of reading and “Open a World of Possible” for all children. Young festival-goers can pose for a photo with their favorite literary characters, Captain Underpants and Clifford the Big Red Dog, and join in the arts-and-crafts fun by coloring and glittering special Clifford pages. The whole family can kick back and relax in the reading corner which will feature exciting new Scholastic releases and read-alouds scheduled every hour.

New to Let’s Read America is the Library of Congress Learning Center where kids, families, and teachers can explore the world of learning with the Library of Congress. The Library’s Educational Outreach and Young Readers Center teams make learning fun with skill-building activities using books and primary sources. Visitors will experience new connections between literature and primary sources—such as photographs, maps, and letters--by participating in activities that make facts and stories come alive. There will be popular books on display and activities demonstrating the festival theme, “Stay Up with a Good Book,” using stickers and stamps. Educators are invited to learn about the Library’s teacher resources and pick up related materials.

The Mensa Education & Research Foundation worked with the Library for a third 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

A quartet of expert chefs will perform live demonstrations of favorite recipes at the National Book Festival Cooking Demos area in Let's Read America. They will be among eight chefs who will speak, and take audience questions, about their latest cookbooks.

Festival-goers can also visit representatives of their home states and learn about each state’s literary heritage on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 the Pavilion of the States. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is the major sponsor of the pavilion, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The IMLS and 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. territories to come to the festival. Guests are invited to collect state stickers and stamps and "Discover Great Places Through Reading."

C-SPAN2’s Book TV will televise presentations—C-SPAN2 has covered every National Book Festival. C-SPAN will be stationed outside of the History & Biography pavilion and will have a live feed of programing in the Pavilion of the States, where C-SPAN again will provide the ever-popular festival book bag – this year in bright green.

Stop by and visit staff and volunteers from WAMU 88.5 FM, the festival’s new media partner, to learn more about WAMU 88.5 programs and to pick up giveaways.

The Library of Congress Pavilion offers an in-depth look at the many ways the Library brings its extraordinary resources to Congress and people everywhere. Special exhibits will be on view and Library representatives will discuss their work to collect, share and preserve the creative and intellectual heritage of the nation at the world’s largest library.

The National Endowment for the Arts sponsors the Poetry & Prose pavilion, which will again feature performances by award-winning students in Poetry Out Loud, an NEA and Poetry Foundation program that encourages high-school students to memorize and perform great poems. At 6 p.m. this pavilion will be the site of the festival’s first-ever poetry slam, Page [Hearts] Stage. Champion delegates from the DC Youth Slam Team and the Louder Than a Bomb DMV will compete to be named the city's top youth slammer by performing new works on books and reading. This event is a collaboration with the Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the poetry organization Split This Rock.

In the PBS Explorer zone, located near the Children’s pavilion, kids can learn from many activities: Meet characters from The Cat in the Hat, Curious George, Peg + Cat and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood; spin the PBS KIDS Word Wheel; get a whiff of Sid the Science Kid’s Stinky Smelling Challenge or create-your-own puppet show stage skit. Visitors can also snap a picture in front of a social media wall to share their experience with friends and family.

The 2014 National Book Festival poster, by nationally acclaimed illustrator and children’s book author Bob Staake (who will also speak at the Festival), can be downloaded from the festival website at Copies of the poster will also be distributed free to festival-goers.

More than 100 authors and illustrators scheduled to participate in the National Book Festival will make their presentations in the Picture Books, Children’s, Teens, Fiction & Mystery, Poetry & Prose, History & Biography, Contemporary Life, Culinary Arts, Science, and Special Programs pavilions and the evening Graphic Novels Super-Session, Great Books to Great Movies event and the Centennial of Three Mexican Literary Legends.

The 2014 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, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron the National Endowment for the Arts; Contributors Erika Jayne, Scholastic Inc. and WAMU 88.5 FM; and—in the Friends category—the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation Inc., the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, The Hay-Adams, the National Endowment for the Humanities, PBS Kids and Small Press Expo. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV, the Junior League of Washington, Mensa Education and Research Foundation, Split This Rock and U Street Parking.

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,


PR 14-151
ISSN 0731-3527