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Literary Treasures: Opening of Young Readers Center (2009) and Launch of Saturday Hours (2017)

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The following post is part of our monthly series, “Literary Treasures,” which highlights audio and video recordings drawn from the Library’s extensive online collections, including the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. By showcasing the works and thoughts of some of the greatest poets and writers from the past 75 years, the series advances the Library’s mission to “further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.”

On October 23, 2009, the Library celebrated the opening of its Young Readers Center (Room LJ G29, Thomas Jefferson Building), which became the first dedicated center for young readers in the Library’s history. As part of the opening ceremonies former Librarian of Congress James H. Billington welcomed a group of young people, parents, and others to the Young Readers Center. Assisting with the opening were Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and her three children; Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and his son; and children and teen author M.T. Anderson. You can view a video of the opening ceremonies below:

Among the video highlights are Dr. Billington reading his favorite children’s book, Tove Jansson’s The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My, and Rep. Wasserman Schultz and her daughters reading one of their favorites, Victoria Kann’s Pinkalicious. M.T. Anderson rounded out the event with a captivating personal story about “the way that libraries are . . . a way for us to travel through time.”

I wanted to feature the Young Readers Center in this month’s post because this past Saturday the Center, in response to popular demand, officially launched regular Saturday hours (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m) for readers.

To mark the occasion, the Young Readers Center, with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, hosted an all-day series of events on Saturday. Here is a video of the first 60 minutes of the events, which was streamed live on YouTube:

After opening remarks by Dr. Hayden, author Meg Medina readin English and Spanishfrom her book Mango, Abuela, and Me. She then participated in a Q&A session with Dr. Hayden, fielding questions from young readers watching the events in person and from four public libraries in Orlando, Florida; Princeton, New Jersey; Columbia, South Carolina; and New York City, New York. Among my favorite questions for Dr. Hayden came from a nine-year-old reader named Emily from the Orange County Library System in Orlando: “What does a librarian do?” For Meg Medina, a very young reader at the event asked: “Why did you decide to do the book in Spanish?” The video concludes with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and closing remarks by Young Readers Center Teen Board representatives Jacqueline Lassey and Edward Tolson, both from the Richard Wright Public Charter School.

Interested in learning more about the Young Readers Center and what it has to offer you and your family? Take a look at the Young Readers Center website.


  1. Saturday, January 28th was a fun-filled day for everyone, at the Young Reader’s Center! In addition to fabulous speakers, presentations, and Q&A with Dr. Hayden, puzzles and crafts were provided and enjoyed by so many. However,the best part of the whole day, was seeing families finding a comfy spot on a chair or on the floor and reading together! So many books were read throughout the whole day!

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