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Teens Share Insights on the Upcoming National Book Festival

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This summer, six teens from across the country participated in an intensive virtual internship designed to build their understanding of the Library’s resources and to prepare them to host interviews for the teen genre of the National Book Festival. They also developed a short video introduction to their favorite resources from the Library’s website, including Chronicling America, research guides, and By the People, the Library’s crowdsourced transcription project. You’ll find their work at the end of select teen genre videos-on-demand beginning September 17. Don’t miss the interviews they hosted with YA authors, available on the same day! Here, three of the summer teen interns share their thoughts on the Book Festival. We hope you’ll join us there!


Behind every good book is a good writer – an artist that weaves characters and plots and other figments of their imagination into a complex tapestry that can capture your attention for hours on end. Good authors are, simply put, on another level. And I want to know their secrets. I’m excited to watch the author interviews at this year’s NBF – not just to learn about their creative process and inspiration, but also how they (mere mortals) became such extraordinary communicators.


As a teen intern, I am beyond excited to be able to participate in this year’s National Book Festival. Growing up, paging through my favorite novels was always a solitary activity, occurring in the comforts of my bedroom with a box of tissues in hand. I am thrilled that this year I can share those tears and laughs and smiles with others through participating in the National Book Festival. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity: young adult author interviews, presentations, and Q&As will allow like-minded book lovers and authors around the world to gather and share their love for literature in digital and in-person spaces well-suited to this collective passion. I am also looking forward to making connections between the books discussed at the festival and historical events through incredible Library resources like Chronicling America and Research Guides. At the Library of Congress, there are so many avenues to opening new worlds both at the festival and beyond; I can’t wait!

KAREN, New Jersey

As a wee amateur researcher/high school student, the Library of Congress seemed so intimidating; its history is complex and detailed, filled with iconic historical figures and contemporary legends. My time with the Informal Learning Office has really opened my eyes to the many resources at the Library of Congress. I’ve had time to learn about different parts of the Library with really wonderful mentors and my beautiful peers.

I’m eager to use, attend, and interact with the National Book Festival! I’ve been a big fan of book events since forever (kind of a meet and greet but with literary legends instead of musicians; my inner literary nerd is popping off) and I’m especially looking forward to Angie Thomas’s segment. Her book The Hate U Give has been such an impactful read. Check out more info on the Book Festival here!

The summertime teen intensive was a pilot program. If you are a teen or know a teen who would be a great fit, keep an eye out for the next opportunity for high school students at the Library of Congress Informal Learning Office or email us at [email protected]

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