This year’s theme is Everyone Has a Story,
celebrating the storyteller in us all.
The 2023 Library of Congress National Book Festival takes place in Washington D.C. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, August 12, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. It’s free and open to the public.
If you can’t attend in person, never fear, experience the LOC’s National Book Festival online. There are plenty of programs and activities available before (beginning July 20th), during, and continuing after the Festival.
In contrast to the book banners who target works advancing diversity, Rich Homberg, president and CEO of Detroit Public Television (which is partnering with the LOC in this event) asserted that “everyone has a story that needs to be told and we’re now living in an exciting time when more diverse voices are sharing their journeys, their rite of passage, as well as their challenges and opportunities, which are all preserved within the pages of books. That’s how we learn empathy, and that’s how we bridge great divides.”
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden affirmed the sentiment, stating “the Library believes that everyone has a story to tell, and we’re proud to share the stories of so many groundbreaking authors, writers, poets and illustrators at the National Book Festival.”
The 2023 series features interviews with authors including Claribel A. Ortega, Shelby Van Pelt, Tananarive Due, S.A. Cosby, Luis Alberto Urrea, Beverly Gage, TJ Klune, Matthew Desmond, Héctor Tobar, Angeline Boulley and Trang Thanh Tran. You can find them at PBSbooks.org/LOCBookFest23
The Library of Congress is an amazing place, one you might not have thought of for personal use. But they have hundreds of incredible digital collections that include manuscripts from historic figures, newspaper archives, photographs, just to name a few… not to mention the legislation we would expect them to house.
And then there’s our favorite, a source called banned books online –a listing of books that have been banned, complete with links to those books so we can be sure to read them. If you haven’t already discovered the Library of Congress, make the National Book Festival your first point of contact.
And then, be sure to tell us about the banned books
you were inspired to read as a result.