April 5, 1999 District Students to Hear Readings from Manuscripts, Rare Books in "Building a Nation of Readers" Program

Contact: Yvonne French (202) 707-9191

WHO: 9- and 10-year-old students from Brent Museum Magnet School, and Stuart Hobson, Walker Jones, and Martin Luther King Jr. elementary schools and Capitol Hill Day School

WHAT: Hear readings from American history primary source documents and talk about their importance

WHEN: Monday, April 26, 10 - 11:30 a.m.

WHERE: Coolidge Auditorium, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress, 10 First St. S.E.

WHY: "Building a Nation of Readers," co-sponsored by the Director for Public Service Collections and the Center for the Book


The students will hear dramatic readings of original manuscripts, including personal accounts of the Little Rock Nine, Frederick Douglass's autobiography and correspondence with his young daughter, Francis O. French's mid-19th century diary of life in Washington, D.C., Billy Gobitas's 1935 letter explaining why he would not salute the U.S. flag, and Margaret Mead's childhood diary.

Dramatic readings will be offered by Norman Middleton, a concert producer in the Music Division, and actress/writer Lynn Schrichte. Several Library curators will be on hand to discuss the primary source documents.

"Building a Nation of Readers" is the Library's national reading promotion campaign for 1997 through the year 2000, the Bicentennial of the Library of Congress. It emphasizes the crucial importance of reading for both individuals and the nation as a whole. It is the sixth national reading promotion campaign organized by the Center for the Book since 1987. Previous national reading promotion campaigns include "The Year of the Young Reader" (1989), "The Year of the Lifetime Reader" (1991), "Books Change Lives" (1993-94), and "Shape Your Future--READ!" (1995-96).

The Center for the Book was established by law in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries. Its projects and those of its more than 30 affiliated state centers for the book are funded primarily by private contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations or by funds from other government agencies.

The director for Public Service Collections is responsible for the area of the Library that serves the public and acquires, catalogs and preserves manuscripts, motion pictures, music and recorded sound, maps, newspapers, bound periodicals, and folklife materials as well as the 12 million volumes in the Library's general book collections.

For more information, visit www.loc.gov/loc/kidslc.


PR 99-042
ISSN 0731-3527