February 19, 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Awards Initiates State Program

Seven State Centers for the Book Announce Prizes; Five More Centers to Participate in 2016

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

Literacy promoters in seven states have received awards through state centers for the book, supported by the Library of Congress Literacy Awards program. The awards were granted to projects and individuals in California, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

The awards were the result of a pilot project implemented in 2015 to enable affiliates of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress to recognize the excellent work being done in their states. Each participating state received a $1,000 contribution either to create a literacy award or to become an affiliate with an existing awards program in their state.

Through the generosity of David M. Rubenstein, the Library of Congress Literacy Awards program was established in 2013 to recognize and honor organizations that have made outstanding contributions to increasing literacy in the United States and abroad. In its first three years, 54 organizations have been cited for their outstanding contributions to promoting literacy.

Because of the success of the pilot project, the state-level awards will continue in 2016 and be expanded to also include Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina.

“The Literacy Awards program advisory board is encouraging increased participation in 2016,” John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book, said. “The inclusion of affiliated state centers, along with other national and international groups that have never before applied, will help us achieve this goal.”

Each state award is administered through the affiliated state center for the book, which sets eligibility and judging criteria and names the winner.

The seven 2015 state awards went to a wide variety of individuals and organizations, described below:


PR 16-033
ISSN 0731-3527