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“Get caught reading” with the Library of Congress

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“Get caught reading” in May! Reading is always important, but many schools and libraries focus particular attention on reading during the month of May. Where can you find digitized rare books, information about the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, the National Book Festival, and myriad other resources to support literacy and reading? Visit, from the Library of Congress.

Check out these highlights:

  • Webcasts allow you to “… see and hear your favorite authors discuss their work and how they have used the Library of Congress’s extraordinary resources in their work.”
  • Contests include Letters about Literature, which invites students in grades 4-12 to “write a letter to a favorite author on how his or her book affected you.” Letters from past winners are available.
  • Booklists suggesting books related to particular collections of digitized primary sources make it easier to construct lessons to deepen student engagement and develop content knowledge.
  • If you didn’t make it to Washington, D.C. for the National Book Festival, you can still hear most of the authors online!
  • Local and community resources, including book festivals and One Book programs, are searchable by state.
  • “The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped makes it possible for Americans living with visual impairment to enjoy a good book, magazine and even music scores.”
  • If you’re planning a visit to Washington, D.C., consider stopping by the Young Readers Center, a space dedicated to young readers and their families.

A separate post, next week, will explore the digitized rare books, but feel free to leaf through them on your own before then.

Teaching ideas:

  • Bring a favorite author into your classroom or library via webcasts from the National Book Festival. Show the entire presentation, or move the track slider to a pre-selected portion.
  • Join a nearby One Book program, or start your own.
  • Encourage students to write letters and submit them to the Letters about Literature contest.

How do you motivate your students to read?

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