Thomas Jefferson Can’t Live Without Books, and Neither Can JLW Volunteers

The 15th annual Library of Congress (LOC) National Book Festival is this Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., at the Washington Convention Center. More than 150 authors and illustrators, librarians from across the country, and new activities and presentations guarantee to make this year’s festival a worthwhile event.

Not only is this year the 15th anniversary, but the LOC is also celebrating another big milestone. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the LOC’s acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. As a tribute to the former president’s collection and love of books, the theme of the 2015 book festival is centered around a quote of Jefferson’s, “I cannot live without books.” This quote and theme is captured in the poster for this year’s festival, which was created by acclaimed illustrator and designer Peter de Sève!

Jefferson isn’t the only one who can’t live without books. By helping provide volunteers for the National Book Festival for the past 13 years, the Junior League of Washington has been able to help promote literacy in its community while assisting in the festival’s success every year. By volunteering at the festival, Junior League volunteers receive the chance to interact with amazing authors, help librarians across the country and make sure festival attendees have the best experience possible.

Some of the new offerings and activities at this year’s National Book Festival are highlighted below, but remember, while the festival continues to change and grow, one thing never changes—it is always a place for people who cannot live without books.

For the Romantics
At 7:15 p.m. National Public Radio’s Petra Mayer will emcee a program devoted to romance fiction, featuring romance authors Sarah MacLean, Beverly Jenkins and Paige Tyler.

Calling All Movie Lovers
At 8 p.m., A. Scott Berg, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, will give an overview of Sam Goldwyn’s Hollywood and the rise of the film industry while “Washington Post” film critic Ann Hornaday will moderate a panel on the topic.

If you’re a History Buff
From 2:35 to 7:10 p.m., a variety of writers on war will discuss the human side of war and provide a tribute to the American war experience. Award-winning broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw will speak about his book “The Greatest Generation.” Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson will talk about human stories from his Liberation trilogy, National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran and co-author Howard Schultz will discuss their book on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and West Point Professor Elizabeth Samet will host a discussion with war novelists who have written about Iraq and Afghanistan.

JLW encourages you to tell your family and friends to attend the National Book Festival, or bring them with you when you go! If you want to stay up-to-date on all book festival news and activities, make sure to download the new National Book Festival app, which will include the complete schedule of author presentations, book signing lines and activities. Finally, thank you to all who have signed up to volunteer; your time and dedication is valued and appreciated by all who love books!