A Book (Festival) With a Happy Ending

The 2012 Library of Congress National Book Festival closed up shop Sunday evening – leaving more than 200,000 delighted book-lovers thrilled to have heard from and met their favorite authors, stoked up with new titles to read, and exhilarated by two days of gorgeous fall weather there on the National Mall.

sunset at saturday's NBF12

Nice light show, but no rain, for NBF12

One couple even got engaged in the book-signing line for graphic novelist Craig Thompson!

I may be biased, but I’m also in a position to know: as the project (operational) manager for the festival, I can attest that things did indeed run smoothly, and there were few hang-ups or hitches.

That was largely the result of a great team at the Library of Congress (thanks, gang!) and no fewer than 1,200 volunteers who trained specially to provide information, service and safety to the hordes of happy guests. Thanks to all you volunteers, from the Library, the general public and the Junior League of Washington – it wouldn’t have happened without you. Happy hundredth anniversary to the JLW, by the way …

No fewer than 126 authors, illustrators and poets came to the National Mall for this year’s festival, more than at any of the Library’s past 11 festivals.

Authors included Nobel-winner Mario Vargas Llosa, T.C. Boyle, Patricia Cornwell, Robert Caro, Jeffrey Eugenides, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Michael Connelly, Christopher Paolini, Junot Diaz, Thomas Friedman, Walter Isaacson, Charlaine Harris, Mike Lupica, Lois Lowry, Jeff Kinney and R.L. Stine; and a wildly popular author named John Green (“Books are like tweets, except longer”) who thanked the 1,800 people who waited in line for him.

Nothing as big as the National Book Festival can happen, however, without a few lost items.  We suspect some little one is missing the Hello Kitty toy pictured below, dropped in the Let’s Read America Pavilion near the stuffed steed of festival sponsor Wells Fargo. That your Kitty? Email me at jgav@loc.gov.

Hello Kitty toy

Kitty wants to come home

 

 

5 Comments

  1. MARIAN TAXIS
    September 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    OUtstandly good job! I very much enjoy the lectures and signings as well as meeting various people mingling on the Mall at the Festival who I would probably never meet otherwise. I had a delightful time and I thank you all very much. I’m looking forward to next year.

  2. Nisha Singh
    September 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

    The Book Festival was an amazing experience – it’s one of those times where you feel so lucky to live in DC! I was wondering when the webcasts for 2012 will be put up on the website? Or maybe they are already up and I can’t seem to find them?

  3. Jennifer Gavin
    September 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you for your comment! The webcasts will go up gradually over the next several weeks — we have to process them properly. Sorry about the delay, but we fit them into our overall workflow.

  4. John Michael
    October 3, 2012 at 6:08 am

    I like this weblog very much so much great info

  5. kathy smiley
    December 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I volunteered to help at the Book Festival.

    By profession I have 20 years experience as a special events coordinator. I would like to be more involved with the event. DO YOU NEED ANY VOLUNTEER HELP!

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.