May 2, 2016 Library of Congress and Mid-Atlantic Public Libraries Kick Off Summer Essay Contest

Rising 5th and 6th Graders Asked to Write About “A Book That Shaped Me”

Press Contact: Lola Pyne (202) 707-3128
Public Contact: Bryonna Head (202) 707-3073

The Library of Congress today launched its annual summer essay contest, in conjunction with public libraries in the Mid-Atlantic region, to encourage rising 5th- and 6th-grade students to reflect on books that have made a personal impact on their lives.

The "A Book That Shaped Me" Summer Writing Contest is administered as part of summer reading programs at participating public libraries in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; Delaware; Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prizes will be awarded and top winners will be invited to present their essays during a special presentation at the 16th Library of Congress National Book Festival, Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Students entering 5th and 6th grades in the fall of 2016 are eligible. Essays, focused on a single book, should be one page in length and must be submitted with an entry form, in person, at participating public library locations. The deadline for entries is Friday, July 18, 2016.

"A Book That Shaped Me" will award prizes to five finalists and one winner per state, and to three overall grand-prize winners. The 30 finalists will be selected by a panel of scorers composed of members of the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association. The three grand-prize winners will be selected by a panel of judges assembled by the Library of Congress, including educators, children’s authors and Library of Congress staff.

Submission forms are available at the Library of Congress Young Readers Center in Room G-29 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C., or at participating public library locations. The list of participating libraries and more information are available at this website.

Launched in 2012 with the D.C. Public Library, "A Book That Shaped Me" has since expanded throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with the help of public libraries in Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Virginia; Delaware; Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. More than 350 public libraries are registered to participate in this, the fifth program year. Public library systems in these states may sign up through May 13, 2016, by contacting [email protected] for program details.

The Library kicked off the 2016 contest as part of its Children’s Book Week, a celebration sponsored by the Children's Book Council, which is a reading-promotion partner of the Library of Congress Center for the Book.

The National Book Festival is made possible by the generous support of private- and public-sector sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy, led by National Book Festival Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein. Charter sponsors include AARP, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, The Washington Post and Wells Fargo; Patron sponsors include the James Madison Council and the National Endowment for the Arts; Contributor-level sponsors include The Junior League of Washington 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. Those interested in supporting the National Book Festival may contact the Library at [email protected].

The Library of Congress, the largest library in the world, holds more than 162 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at loc.gov.

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PR 16-080
2016-05-02
ISSN 0731-3527