April 7, 2017 Gene Luen Yang Launches "Reading Without Walls" Project

Event Features Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden in Conversation with Yang

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Gene Luen Yang, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, will launch his Reading Without Walls reading program during a Library of Congress event on Monday, April 10, at 10 a.m. in Room LJ 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E. in Washington, D.C. The event is free and open to the public; no tickets are required. Attendees will be seated on a first-come, first served basis.  This event will be live-streamed on the Library’s Facebook page at facebook.com/libraryofcongress and its YouTube site (captioned) at youtube.com/LibraryOfCongress.

The program will be an informal conversation between Yang and Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, followed by a question-and-answer period with local students. 

Reading Without Walls, a concept Yang introduced during his inauguration as National Ambassador in January 2016, challenges young people to explore, through books, worlds outside their comfort zone. Specifically, it asks readers to read a book about a character who does not look like them or live like them; read a book about a topic they do not know much about; or read a book in a format that they do not normally read for fun, such as a chapter book, an audio book, a graphic novel or a book in verse.

“The Library of Congress is proud to support Gene’s National Ambassador initiative,” Hayden said. “Books can be windows on other places, experiences and cultures. The National Ambassador program, through its current ambassador, is encouraging readers to leave their comfort zone to experience worlds unlike their own.”

“Reading is a fantastic way to open your minds and hearts to new people, places, and ideas,” said Yang. “Through reading, I’ve met new friends, learned new facts and become a better person.”

Gene Luen Yang is the Printz Award-winning author of “American Born Chinese,” a two-time National Book Award finalist and a recipient of the 2016 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship or “Genius Grant.” Yang is the country’s fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2016-2017) and has used his platform to travel the country and challenge readers of all ages to explore books of diverse voices, genres, and formats. More information about the program is at www.read.gov/cfb/ambassador/.

The National Ambassador for Young People's Literature program is a project of the Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and its foundation, Every Child a Reader (ECAR). This event is co-sponsored by the Library of Congress, the CBC, ECAR and Macmillan, Yang’s publisher. 

 The Library’s Center for the Book, established by Congress in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books and reading, is a national force for reading and literacy promotion. A public-private partnership, it sponsors educational programs that reach readers of all ages through its affiliated state centers, collaborations with nonprofit reading-promotion partners and through the Library’s Young Readers Center and its Poetry and Literature Center. For more information, visit read.gov.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov, and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.


PR 17-051
ISSN 0731-3527