Events

Recent Events

2023 National Book Festival

The 2023 National Book Festival was held in the nation’s capital at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, August 12. Several programs were livestreamed, and video of all talks can be viewed online. Check out the more than 70 of the nation's best authors, poets and illustrators, who discussed their work, including R.K. Russell, Meg Medina, Joy Harjo, and Elliot Page.

Exhibits at Conferences

NLS attends conferences nationwide to reach out to current and potential patrons, caregivers, and the professionals who work with them through organizations serving these groups. We look forward to reaching people who may benefit from our service. This includes continuing partnerships with organizations that work with people with disabilities, introducing the NLS program to new groups, presenting benefits of service to professionals, and engaging with current and potential patrons.

In 2023, we participated in consumer events and professional conferences with the following groups: American Association of Diabetes Educators, American College of Healthcare Administrators, American Council of the Blind, American Federation of Teachers, American Foundation for the Blind, American Legion National Conference, American Library Association, American Occupational Therapy Association, American School Counselors Association, Blinded Veterans Association, Council for Exceptional Children, Disabled American Veterans, Music Library Association, Music Teachers National Association, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Council of State Agencies for the Blind, National Federation of the Blind, National Rural Health Association, Native American Healthcare Conference, and USAging (formerly National Association of Area Agencies on Aging).

Past Events

2022 National Book Festival

The National Book Festival (NBF) returned to the Washington Convention Center in September 2022. Voice actors Michael Kramer, Kimberly Schraf, and Dawn Ursula gathered at NBF for a panel on the art of creating an audiobook. Complete with surprising anecdotes from their decades of recording work and entertaining live narrations, their session will give you a new appreciation for the audiobooks you know and love. Check out the panel discussion on the art of creating an audiobook or learn more about NLS narrators.


Matthew Whitaker, in black jacket and white dress shirt, at grand piano, his left hand on keys

90th Anniversary Kick-off Event: Matthew Whitaker jazz concert

NLS kicked off its 90th anniversary by hosting a virtual concert featuring jazz pianist Matthew Whitaker on March 3, 2021, which is available on the Library's YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/4X5NhVwLzM4 External. Whitaker, who was blind since birth and started playing the piano at age three, is a NLS patron who has used the Music Section’s accessible scores and reading materials on his rise to fame. His performance on March 3 was preceded by a livestreamed interview with Whitaker conducted by NLS Director Karen Keninger. Learn more about Whitaker on the NLS Music Notes blog at https://blogs.loc.gov/nls-music-notes.

National Book Festival 2021

The 21th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival (NBF) was held online in late September 2021 with well over one hundred renowned authors from across the country and around the world. You can access videos, presentations, engaging activities and much more on the virtual NBF site. Also check out the NLS booklist of NBF 2020 authors who were highlighted on the festival’s main stage from the 20th annual event.

José André Trio jazz concert

José André is a Bolivian-born, acclaimed jazz pianist and NLS Music Section patron, whose playful and inspired composition bridge jazz, rock, blues, bossa nova, Latin American, and world music. A concert in 2019, presented by NLS, featured the José André Trio. This Library of Congress event was live-streamed, so you can still enjoy it now online at https://youtu.be/YTLgSiXXHtI External.

Network Library of the Year Award

NLS holds an annual ceremony recognizing network regional and subregional libraries nominated by their constituents for providing outstanding service to their communities.

2022-2023: The New Jersey State Library Talking Book and Braille Center in Trenton, New Jersey, received the 2023 Regional Library of the Year Award, while the Library for the Visually and Physically Disabled Branch of Muskegon Area District Library in Muskegon, Michigan, received the Sub-regional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award. Learn more about these award-winning libraries in the NLS Newsletter from July-September 2023.

2021-2022: The Washington Talking Book & Braille Library in Seattle, Washington, received the 2022 Regional Library of the Year Award, while the Pinellas Talking Book Library in Clearwater, Florida, received the Sub-regional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award. Learn more about these award-winning libraries in the NLS Newsletter from April-June 2022.

2020-2021: The Iowa Library for the Blind and Print Disabled in Des Moines received the Regional Library of the Year Award, and Bayside Area and Special Services Library in Virginia Beach received the Subregional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award.  Find out how these libraries served their communities during the pandemic and were to be honored during a virtual ceremony of the biennial meeting of NLS’s Midlands and Western regional conferences.

2019-2020: The Oklahoma Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Oklahoma City received the Regional Library of the Year Award, and the Talking Books and Braille Center at the San Francisco Public Library in California received the Subregional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award. Learn more about these award-winning libraries in the NLS Newsletter from July-September 2020.

2018-2019: The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received the Regional Library of the Year Award, while the Staunton Talking Book Center in Staunton, Virginia, received the Subregional Library/Advisory and Outreach Center of the Year Award. These awards were presented at an event in the historic Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., on May 16, 2019.

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