Sponsored by the national Center for the Book of the Library of Congress, the 14th annual National Festival for the Book (NFB) will be held August 30, 2014, in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. With President and Ms. Obama serving as NFB co-hosts, the festival’s “Pavilion of States” salutes the literary traditions of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Representing the Missouri Center for the Book (MCB) will be Thomas Peters, MSU Dean of University Libraries and Director of the Ozarks Chapter of the MCB. Joining him will be James S. Baumlin, MSU Distinguished Professor of English and MCB Vice President.
Peters and Baumlin will be celebrating the work of Kansas City author, Shane Evans, whose illustrated children’s book, Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, is Missouri’s featured entry in the NFB. The Missouri Center for the Book—state affiliate of the national Center—is charged with selecting the state’s annual entry. Missouri’s featured author in the 2013 NFB was Springfield’s renowned children’s author, David Harrison.
Though a delight for readers of all ages, the NFB promotes childhood literacy and thousands of young readers will attend the day-long event. A Library of Congress brochure, “Discover Great Places Through Reading,” will guide them through the Pavilion of States, with each state providing a unique sticker or stamp at its book table. Children will be encouraged to visit all 52 book tables. When visiting the Missouri table, children will be treated to mementos courtesy of the MCB and Meyer Library.
“It’s an honor,’ says Dr. Baumlin, “for Missouri State University to house the Ozarks Chapter of the Missouri Center for the Book and to collaborate with the Library of Congress over literacy projects like the NBF. As the Ozarks Chapter grows, it will offer ‘book arts’ and literacy programs locally and throughout Southwest Missouri.” MSU’s Meyer Library is one of three regional Centers for the Book, joining the Mercantile Library in St. Louis and the Kirkpatrick Library at Central Missouri State University.
For more information on the National Book Festival, visit the Library of Congress website, www.loc.gov/bookfest.