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Volunteers Nikki R. and Ellen R. help direct visitors in the main lobby of the National Book Festival, August 31, 2019. (Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)

This is your sign to… Volunteer at the 2023 National Book Festival!

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This is a guest post by Katie Davidovich, Chief of the Visitor Engagement Office. 

It’s no secret that the National Book Festival is made possible by hundreds of dedicated volunteers each year. I was lucky enough to witness this dedication firsthand at last year’s Festival, where I served as the co-chair of our General Volunteer team with my colleague, Kimberly Dungey.

In our day jobs, we work in the Library’s Visitor Engagement Office in the historic Thomas Jefferson Building on Capitol Hill, and we’re thankful to work with service-minded individuals every day. But even we were overwhelmed by the passion, drive, and positivity of the National Book Festival volunteer community—hundreds of like-minded people donating their time and gathering together on a single day for a common purpose. It’s truly a humbling and thrilling experience!

If you love books, the Library of Congress, and being a part of a team, you are a perfect fit to be part of our volunteer community. We hope you’ll join us!

We’re looking for volunteers to greet attendees, provide wayfinding, distribute programs, act as stage ushers, serve at information booths and so much more. You can volunteer for a few hours, or for half- and full-day shifts. Please read the specific criteria below and use the application link to sign up today. We’d love to hear from you before 5 p.m. on Friday, July 28.

Young festivalgoers enjoy activities on the expo floor at the National Book Festival, September 3, 2022. (Elaina Finkelstein/Library of Congress)

National Book Festival Volunteer Information

The 23rd annual Library of Congress National Book Festival, bringing together best-selling authors, illustrators and book lovers from around the world, will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m (doors open at 8:30 a.m.), Saturday, Aug. 12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 801 Mt. Vernon Place, NW, Washington, D.C. Here are the latest details on the 2023 festival.

Jennifer DesBordes and book-loving dog Lola greet visitors at the main info booth of the National Book Festival, August 31, 2019. (Edmond Joe/For the Library of Congress)

The success of the festival depends on the efforts of more than 500 committed volunteers, many of whom return year after year. All volunteers must meet five requirements to participate in the festival:

  • be at least 16 years of age as of Saturday, August 12, 2023;
  • commit to at least one 4.5 hour shift;
  • attend a mandatory 90-minute virtual briefing session in advance of the Festival;
  • pick up a volunteer t-shirt at the Library of Congress the week of the Festival;
  • and sign the Library’s Voluntary Services Agreement.

If you are confident you can meet the criteria outlined above and wish to be a 2023 volunteer, please click here to complete the application form. Please note: you must create a free volunteer account to complete the application.

Once you have completed the application form, you will receive an automatic email confirming receipt. Once your volunteer application is approved, you will receive additional information via [email protected].

As either a volunteer or as an attendee, we look forward to seeing you in Washington, DC on Aug. 12!

National Book Festival, September 3, 2022. (Ralph Small/For the Library of Congress)

Stay tuned for more news about the National Book Festival by subscribing to this blog. The schedule for this year’s Festival will be announced in early July!


Comments (7)

  1. I am still on recovery from spinal surgery and can therefore not volunteer this year. But would you please keep me on your roster for the future. Thank you!

  2. Whom would I ask about volunteering specifically in the LOC booth at the National Book Festival? I have an idea/suggestion I’d like to bring to their coordinating team. Thank you!

    • Thanks for your interest in the National Book Festival! Please reach out to [email protected] if you’re interested in volunteering at this year’s festival.

  3. I have volunteered For NBF from its inception. I wish to serve this year as well.

  4. Hi. I volunteered for the NBF and was accepted. But as of yet, I don’t have any assignment.
    I had even asked about having a position where I have to sit and the person who answered said yes.
    Thank you,
    Lisa Moffett

  5. My husband and I volunteered several years pre-COVID but somehow dropped off the roster so we were ot notified in time to volunteer. Can you add us back to the roster?

    • Thank you for your interest. Please contact [email protected] to find out if volunteer opportunities are still available.

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