The NBF is special to me for more than one reason. First, it’s something on which a huge team of talented folks including me work intensively for about five or six months every year. It’s hard to describe the thrill of watching this labor of love be enjoyed by more than 120,000 people. I walk the grounds watching author presentations, working with the media, and listening for comments people make about the great time they’re having. But my anniversary of coming to work at the Library coincides with the Book Festival, so it’s an extra-special celebration for me. (Three years and counting.)
But enough about me.
One popular attraction has been a huge vinyl wall in the Library of Congress Pavilion on which people could write about their favorite books or authors. This year, though, we’re going high-tech. We want to encourage everyone who’s “tweeting” as they walk the grounds to use the hashtag #nbf. Your tweets and everyone else’s (including yours truly) will be featured in the LOC Pavilion (link is a PDF map) on a large monitor displaying those messages in real time. So send your Twitpics, your author encounters, your 12-second videos or any other thoughts to share them with your fellow book-lovers.
This week also marked another first for us, an additional nod to those who access the web by means other than a computer: We launched a version of the National Book Festival website that is optimized for mobile devices (AKA a “Wireless Application Protocol,” or WAP site.) We think this will be especially helpful on Festival day itself. When you visit //www.loc.gov/bookfest/ from your mobile device of choice, the site automatically adjusts to a simple and less bandwidth-intense version. You can still get all the author presentation and book-signing schedules, maps, directions, and other important information.
And as previously mentioned, you can get up-to-date information by text message by sending the word BOOK to 61399. (Standard messaging rates may apply.) You will be able to find out how to get specific information, such as pavilion schedules and schedules for individual authors.