It was one for the books!

The Library of Congress closed out another successful National Book Festival on Sunday, September 23 – with record-breaking crowds, an A-list of authors and guests, and lots of smiling book lovers. More than 1,200 volunteers helped out over the weekend – and nearly half came from the Junior League of Washington. Up and down the National Mall between 7th and 14th Streets, JLW members in their bright pink skirts, black or white hates, and smiles were spotted giving a helping hand to festival-goers.

Big draws included “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” author Jeff Kinney, “Looking for Alaska” author John Green, Pulitzer-Prize winner Junot Diaz, and Sookie Stackhouse creator Charlaine Harris. Crowds packed the tents to hear last-minute addition Bob Woodward, Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, and Eragon author Christopher Paolini speak – and to hear singer Jewel yodel!

JLW volunteers helped open books for assistance, skillfully assisting eager fans navigate the long lines for book signing, answering questions and keeping the lines flowing smoothly.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the wonderful surprise in graphic novelist Craig Thompson’s book signing line, when a young man proposed to his now-fiancee in a book! Now we call that a true love of literacy.

As we turn the page on the 2012 Book Festival, JLW members are reminded of how much they have to look forward to next year!

JLWers and James Billington, the Librarian of Congress