National Book Festival Moves to the Washington Convention Center Today
The Library of Congress National Book Festival will take place today, Aug. 30, 2014 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., with new and exciting offerings - including evening events - in addition to the familiar author talks, book-signings and family and children's activities. The Festival has been a well-loved ritual for book-lovers since 2001, with attendance by as many as 200,000 visitors in recent years.
The event is free and open to the public.
"In addition to a new International Pavilion featuring authors from around the world, festival-goers will be able to stay up late, with new evening activities between the hours of 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington.
A keystone of the nighttime offerings will be "Great Books to Great Movies," a pavilion that will offer an evening panel discussion with experts and film-industry figures, followed by a screening of a classic movie that was made from a classic book.
"We are excited by this opportunity to marry the literary side of the Library of Congress National Book Festival to the Library's world-famous film and audio-recording preservation work," said Roberta I. Shaffer, the Library's Associate Librarian for Library Services. "Many of our greatest films are visual depictions of great books, and the Library of Congress brings all these riches to the world."
The Festival, first offered indoors at the Library of Congress in 2001, proved so popular that it was relocated to the U.S. Capitol grounds in 2002 and then to the National Mall in 2003, where it was held each year thereafter for a decade.
New National Park Service rules for Mall use, announced in 2013, prompted evaluation of the best location for the event in 2014. The move to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will provide many more seats for festival-goers, protection from both heat and rain, and the addition of lively features supplementing the most popular Festival elements.
"We are very excited about the International Pavilion," Dr. Billington said. "In prior years, when we have offered authors from other nations - including the Nobel Prize-winner, Mario Vargas Llosa - we have packed the house. The Library offers books and other collections in more than 470 languages, and our World Digital Library is presented in seven languages - Spanish is the most widely used. Mexico will be well-represented as we 'go international' at the Festival."
"In all genres and for all ages, there will be authors, authors and more authors, book-signings and an abundance of activities for children."
The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge. Many of the Library's rich resources and treasures may be accessed through the Library's website,http://www.loc.gov, and via its National Book Festival site, http://www.loc.gov/bookfest/.