Starting in 1984, the Center for the Book in the Library began to establish affiliate centers in the 50 states. Today, there is a State Center for the Book in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These Center for the Book affiliates carry out the national Center's mission in their local areas, sponsor programs that highlight their area's literary heritage and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries. Affiliates must submit an application to become part of -- and retain -- their Center for the Book status, which is renewable for a three-year period. The Center for the Book has established Guidelines for establishing affiliates and for programming activities. The State Centers gather annually at the Library of Congress for an Idea Exchange Day.
About the Center
The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established by public law in 1977 to promote books, reading, literacy and libraries, as well as the scholarly study of books. Since its founding, the Center has established affiliate centers in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Center's mission is carried out internationally through its overseas affiliates. More than 80 organizations are Center for the Book reading promotion partners both in the United States and abroad.
Center for the Book programs include the Books & Beyond author series, in which writers from across the country come to the Library to discuss their work and their use of the Library's extraordinary resources. The National Book Festival authors program is also a Center for the Book project.
The Center also places special emphasis on young readers through reading and writing contests, the Read.gov website and the new Young Readers Center in the Thomas Jefferson Building on Capitol Hill.