What Do the Obamas, Toni Morrison and Big Bird Have in Common?

The answer is easy. They will all be celebrating literacy September 24th and 25th at the 11th Annual National Book Festival on the Mall. President and Michelle Obama are serving as the honorary chairs of this great event. Toni Morrison will be attending the festival as one of the over 90 award-winning authors, poets and illustrators. Last but not least, Big Bird will be holding court in the PBS Kids Tent where games and entertainment will be taking place throughout the festival.

As the President of the Junior League of Washington, I am incredibly proud of the role the JLW volunteers play in the National Book Festival. This year our volunteers will be donating even more volunteer hours since the National Book Festival is two days! The Library of Congress is depending on the help of more than 550 JLW volunteers to manage book signing lines, manage the “red carpet” for a live story-reading stage, and staff the Pavilion of the States and the PBS Kids tents. It is sure to be a big undertaking – we are thrilled to partner with the Library of Congress again and welcome the

The annual free event, sponsored by the Library of Congress, features more than 80 high- profile authors and poets. Last year, more than 120,000 people arrived at the National Mall to meet their favorite authors, listen to poetry readings and author discussions, and have their books autographed. The 2011 Festival will be celebrating literacy in more ways than ever before. With new genres, such as “Graphic Novels” (cartoons!), more authors, and new activities centered on the Festival’s theme of “Reading Aloud,” it is sure to be an exciting weekend for all.

The Festival offers something for everyone regardless of age and reading interests. In addition to the Pavilion of States where kids can receive a stamp from all 50 U.S. states and U.S. territories, there is the Digital Bookmobile where visitors can explore some of the new reading related technology now available. Depending on your favorite type of reading material, you may want to listen to David McCullough discuss his newest book, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris”. Or perhaps
you’d prefer to wait in line to have your copy of “Getting to Happy” signed by Terry McMillian.

Learn more and check out the full list of authors at the Library of Congress’ web site.

Mark September 24th and 25th on your calendar and be sure to bring the whole family to the Mall to enjoy the National Book Festival!