July, 2013

Missouri Center For the Book

I am both honored & delighted to announce that I have been elected to the board of the Missouri Center of the Book. What is that? I’m glad you asked!

The Missouri Center for the Book was established in 1993 “to bring the words and ideas of books into the thoughts and lives of Missourians.” The Center is a statewide organization that promotes the importance of books and reading to Missouri residents, celebrates the state’s literary heritage, and recognizes the contributions of Missouri’s authors, book illustrators, booksellers, publishers, librarians, and others involved in the literary arts. The MCB is currently undergoing a major expansion, establishing regional chapters across the state in order to better serve all of Missouri’s residents. We are proud to announce our primary sponsor in this expansion is The Mercantile Library, the oldest library west of the Mississippi, housed on the campus of the University of Missouri at St. Louis. This exciting new chapter of the MCB’s history is being undertaken with the support and supervision of John Cole, the director of the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

The Missouri Center is an affiliate of the national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which was established by law in 1977 to strengthen and celebrate the vital role of books, reading, and libraries in the cultural life of the nation.

The Center is governed by a board of directors composed of authors, publishers, librarians, editors, and community leaders. The board develops programs and plans activities that stimulate public interest in books and reading.

Here are just a few of the fabulous programs they support:

Letters about Literature: a competition which challenges young readers to write a personal letter of reflection to an author whose work somehow inspired them or changed their view of the world or themselves. The contest is sponsored nationally by the Library of Congress and locally by the Missouri Center for the Book and the Missouri State Library. The Missouri Center for the Book has sponsored the statewide contest since 1995, and in that time over 20,000 students in Missouri alone have participated in the program. There were 46,000 participants nationwide in 2013.

Entries are divided into three competition levels:
Level I (grades four through six)
Level II (grades seven and eight)
Level III (grades nine and ten)

First place, second place, and two honorable mention winners are awarded for each of the three competition levels in the state.

National Book Festival: the 13th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama are honorary chairs for the event. This year’s festival will feature authors, poets and illustrators in several pavilions. Festival-goers can meet and hear firsthand from their favorite poets and authors, get books signed, hear special entertainment, have photos taken with storybook characters and participate in a variety of activities. Check out this amazing line up of YA & Children authors:


Teens & Children


poster_enlargeFestival poster by Suzy Lee.

I am so proud to be a member of this board. In the words of president Larisa Cassell, “We are strong and poised to accomplish astonishingly marvelous things as we  become a true Missouri Center for the Book, representing all regions with enthusiasm and dignity.”

Sign up for Newsletter: