The National Book Festival: A Festival for Teachers, Students, and Families

This post was written by Stephen Wesson, Educational Resources Specialist in the Library’s Professional Learning and Outreach Initiatives Office. It was originally published on the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog

Teachers and caregivers, there’s so much to learn and do at the Library of Congress National Book Festival! You can start by sharing these suggestions with the kids and teens in your life, or use it yourself as a roadmap to the 2021 festival.

Meet the authors! Invite the kids and teens in your life to choose a favorite author or two, or one who’s new to them, watch their video or participate in their live presentation. After the talk, discuss some of these together:

  • What would you ask the author if you could?
    • Join a live Q&A session and share your question, or reflect on what you would have asked the author if you had been planning the festival.
  • What do you wonder about?
    • What surprised you about the talk? What do you wonder about? Has this talk changed the way you think about the author’s work?
  • What does “Open a Book, Open the World” mean to you?
    • What worlds have you opened through reading?

      Two people stand on a staircase in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress

      Take a teen-led tour of the resources of the Library of Congress.

Take a teen-led tour of Library of Congress resources! Teen interns from the Library introduce their peers to a few of their favorite resources from the Library’s website, including Chronicling America, research guides, and By the People, the Library’s crowdsourced transcription project. Find these segments at the ends of interviews with Traci Chee, Katie Zhao, Jay Coles, and Sharon Flake.

Dance, sign, or drum along. Join Library of Congress experts for bonus content that connects National Book Fest authors with music, dancing, games, and more. Look for these segments at the end of the interviews with Mindy Thomas and Guy Raz, Ann Clare LeZotte, Kate DiCamillo and Sophie Blackall, and Meg Medina and Jerry Pinkney.

Think visually and create. What comes to mind when you think of books? How would you represent that in a picture? Take a look at some of the National Book Festival posters from previous years and find inspiration to create your own drawing, painting, or collage.

Find the festival near you. This year, the Library of Congress brings the National Book Festival closer to home. Find events in your area such as watch parties, community conversations, story walks, poetry slams, book club meetings and more, brought to you by local organizations and affiliate Centers for the Book—and learn about Great State Reads.

Meet Library experts and explore more. Join a webinar with Library specialists about photographs, comics, preservation, genealogy research and more.

To discover more learning and exploration opportunities from the Library of Congress, visit and

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