Librarians Laud National Book Festival
Report from Washington: The big book event is a readers paradise
Posted Tue, 09/28/2010 - 13:13
Librarian Adele Eskin, in her National Book Festival T-shirt.
There were many librarians among the 150,000 people who gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for the 10th Annual National Book Festival, September 25. Reporting for American Libraries, Rocco Staino of the New York Library Association talked with some of them about the festival in the Pavilion of the States:
For Adele Eskin, middle school librarian at Mary Ellen Henderson School in Falls Church City, Virginia, it is her “favorite day of the year.” She loves being able to get up close to so many authors and has been attending the festival for the last six years.
Teen and children’s literature rock stars Suzanne Collins and Rebecca Stead were the attraction for Sue Van Tassel, librarian at Tuckahoe Free Library in Henrico County, Virginia. “Where else can you see so many wonderful authors all in one day!” she exclaimed.
The day has become an annual opportunity for a reunion for Carol Gaughran and Carol Penna, former library school classmates. They find the Pavilion of the States particularly useful for gathering materials for their students. Librarian at PS/MS 20 in Bronx, New York, Penna collects information from the state exhibits for her 5th-graders to help with their state reports, while Gaughran’s students at Finely Middle School in Glen Cove, New York, benefit from their school librarian’s diligence in scooping up items from all the states as prizes. Cheese eraser from Wisconsin or a potato pin from Idaho, anyone?
First-year school librarian at Samuel Chase Elementary School in Temple Hill, Maryland, Betsy Hamm used the festival as a volunteer opportunity. She spent several hours stamping state passports at the exhibit about New York, her home state. However, she did find time to hear Pat Mora, founder of El día de los niños/El día de los libros, Children’s Day/Book Day, spobsored by the American Library Association’s Association for Library Service to Children, speak and to gather ideas for Hispanic heritage activities Hamm is planning at her school.
Meanwhile, Carolyn Raff, 40-year school library veteran at Fountain Green Elementary School in Bel Air, Maryland, has attended all 10 of the book festivals and still is overwhelmed by the scope and variety of each.
Atglen Public Library’s Maureen Fox planned to take advantage of that scope by attending a presentation by Australian picture book author Mem Fox, whose books are extremely popular with the Amish patrons of Maureen Fox’s Pennsylvania library. However, she was also making time to hear her favorite writer, New York Times best-selling author Jonathan Frazer.
For more festival news reports, visit the Library of Congress website.