Michigan Center for the Book to Participate in 2009 National Book Festival

Contact: Karren Reish (517) 241-0021

Sept. 23, 2009

Bringing together literary lovers of all ages from across the nation, the 2009 National Book Festival will be held on Saturday, Sept. 26 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Michigan Center for the Book will play a special role, promoting Michigan's literary heritage and unique vacation destinations in the festival's popular Pavilion of the States, sponsored for the ninth year by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Alongside representatives of all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. trusts and territories, Michigan will share information about state reading programs and answer questions about Michigan's writers, libraries, book festivals and book awards. Each state highlights a children's book about their state at the festival. The Michigan Center for the Book selected Loraine Campbell's Pocketful of Passage, a historical novel about lighthouse keeping that shines with the characters of our Great Lakes. Campbell also will be at the pavilion to greet fans and talk about her novel with attending teachers and children.

Other featured pavilions are dedicated to book genres ranging from history and biography to mysteries, thrillers, poetry and prose, as well as books for families and young people. Aside from visiting pavilions, festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite authors, get books signed, have photos taken with PBS storybook characters and participate in a variety of learning activities.

Families and young people unable to make it to D.C. for the event can experience the festival virtually. The 2009 National Book Festival Young Reader's Toolkit brings the festival into libraries, schools, homes and communities nationwide. Featuring information on festival authors who write for children and teens, as well as podcasts of their readings, teaching tools and activities for kids, this interactive learning resource also shows educators, parents and children how they can host their own book festivals. The toolkit is available on the National Book Festival Web site at www.loc.gov/bookfest.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will serve as honorary chairs of the ninth annual National Book Festival. Free and open to the public, the festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress and will feature some 75 award-winning authors, poets and illustrators celebrating the joys of reading and lifelong literacy.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the institute, visit www.imls.gov.

The Michigan Center for the Book is a program of the Library of Michigan and the center's affiliates. It is also the Michigan affiliate of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. To learn more, visit www.michigan.gov/mcfb.

The Library of Michigan is part of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries (HAL). Dedicated to enriching quality of life and strengthening the economy by providing access to information, preserving and promoting Michigan's heritage and fostering cultural creativity, the department also includes the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Michigan Historical Center.