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Reading & Literacy

Through several outreach programs and festivals, the Library of Congress seeks to nurture and expand a culture of literacy and reading.

Poetry and Literature

2017 Book Festival Poster

The Library of Congress Poetry and Literature Center fosters and enhances the public's appreciation of literature. To this end, the Center administers the endowed Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry position, coordinates an annual season of readings, performances, lectures, conferences, and symposia, and sponsors high-profile prizes and fellowships for literary writers.

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National Book Festival

The Library's National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. Over its 16-year history, the National Book Festival has become one of the pre-eminent literary events in the United States. It was created by Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington -- the first National Book Festival took place on Sept. 8, 2001. Mrs. Bush served as honorary chair of the festival through 2008. President and Mrs. Obama have served as honorary co-chairs from 2009 to the present.

Learn more and the Center for the Book

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress invites people of all ages to discover the fascinating people, places and events that await you whenever you read. The C, which comprises the Young Readers Center as well as the Poetry and Literature Center, promotes books and libraries, literacy and reading, and poetry and literature. Our programs include a diverse range of events, series, lectures, partnerships, prizes, contests and awards.

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