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Family Friendly Festival Tips

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The following is a guest blog post by Bryonna Head, who works in Library Services at the Library of Congress and is a member of the 2015 festival planning committee.

We are just days away from the Library of Congress 15th Annual National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. We welcome you to join thousands of book lovers and more than 175 authors for a full day of activities for the entire family. With so many places to go and so many authors to see, hear and read, we would like to give you the insider’s guide for families with children to make the most of your experience with us this Saturday.

1. Carry Lightly
The Walter E. Washington Convention Center is spacious and accommodating. The National Book Festival has welcomed thousands of book lovers in past years and we expect a great turnout this year as well. For this reason, we encourage families to be prepared but pack lightly. There will be stroller parking for families while they enjoy authors and activities in the Picture Books, Children’s and Teens pavilions. There will also be a lactation room for nursing mothers. You can find these centers and much more on our 2015 festival map.

2015 Children's Guide to the National Book Festival
2015 Children’s Guide to the National Book Festival
2. Plan It Out
This year we have you covered. With so many activities to enjoy, pavilions to visit and authors to see, it can be a juggling act to fit it all in. Now with the National Book Festival 2015 App you can plan and organize your day in advance. Download your app today available for iPhone, iPad and Android, and there is also a web version.

We also have the 2015 Children’s Guide to the Library of Congress National Book Festival that was developed in collaboration with the Mensa® Education & Research Foundation. We encourage parents to use this guide to get insider tips, plan your festival schedule, see a full list of children’s activities and authors, and get the festival map to navigate your adventure. So much to do, but you do have the time to do it. Download the Children’s Guide now.

3. Boredom is NOT an option
There will be lines and crowds. Keeping the children calm and entertained is always an interesting task. Be sure to visit the Lower Level Exposition Floor. AARP will feature its literacy-focused programs for people of all ages in an exciting and interactive exhibition. Come hear stories, including some read in Spanish, with Wells Fargo in the Wells Fargo Concord Coach (ASL interpreters provided). Stop by the Scholastic area to visit the arts and crafts station. The Pavilion of the States is sure to keep you busy. National Geographic, Ned the Newshound and so much more are available! We encourage you to let the children explore these stations but also encourage YOU join them. Yes mom, dad, grandparents, aunts and uncles are welcomed to participate with their little ones as they learn and meet new friends.

4. Just In Case
We plan for the unintended and unexpected. There will be a center for first aid and lost and found, as well as a family reuniting center. One of the hundreds of volunteers will be on site and able to assists you, just in case. Locations to these areas can be found on the 2015 National Book Festival map.

The Library of Congress National Book Festival will be on Saturday, September 5, 2015 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fun! Family! Festival!