Here at Discovery Map International, we love the Library of Congress
Sep 23, 2020 at 8:00 AM in Explore
Here at Discovery Map International, we love the Library of Congress. Why wouldn’t we? It is one of the world’s greatest repositories of books and maps, including our entire collection of Discovery Maps. Yep, that’s right! I think I even heard a drumroll that preceded that last disclosure.
So inevitably the Map Geek strives to tout the Library of Congress at every turn. Check out these two previous posts on the Library of Congress entitled Loving the Library of Congress and Loving the Library of Congress Online.
With these stories, you’ll discover much about this renowned American institution and how it also hosts a ton of super interesting events. Contrary to what some might think, it’s not an old fusty place filled with gazillions of moth-eaten books. (Although there are undoubtedly some of the latter, too.)
The real kicker, however, is the National Book Festival they’ve organized for this fall. It’s their 20th annual although just like most everything else these days, it’s being put on in a whole new way; you guessed it–it’s going to be virtual, which means that you don’t have to travel to our nation’s capital to be a part of it. Beginning, Friday, September 25th, this three-day extravaganza is sure to inform and entertain young and old alike. Whether you’re an avid reader, an inspiring writer, an established author or someone who just enjoys hearing interesting presentations on a variety of subjects, there truly is something for everyone at this big happening. (Boy, do I hate using cliches but sometimes they work so well that you do have to use them.)
Here’s the showstopper for the Map Geek: the Library of Congress National Book Festival even boasts a special map called the Roadmap to Reading. Click here to see a map of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Click on each state or district to pull up a reading list that embodies the heritage of that locale; the books might evoke a keen sense of place from that area or may have been written by an author from that land or even celebrate the history or culture of that district. Many of the reads are geared toward children and young adults, so this is an especially great way for young people to discover new places and themes via a reading map.
Have you attended a virtual event yet? Sure, you’ve likely been on a Zoom call or two but how about a concert, a film festival or some other big event where folks typically gather en masse? Most of them are fan-tabulous! So much so, in fact, that they might become the new norm even when we find ourselves past this pandemic. Well, maybe not entirely for all but some component of these virtual gatherings will likely be integrated into our lives. It seems as though many of us, for example, have come to enjoy the pleasures of tuning into great concerts from the comfort of our living rooms.
Books are especially well suited for this medium. Cozying up on your couch with a warm blanket and a hot cup of tea has always been one of the highlights of reading. So why not tune in and listen to one of your favorite author’s talk about his or her writing experience? Or how about hearing a panel of bibliophiles discuss more profound subjects the likes of which you may hear in the presentation entitled “Hearing Black Voices?” Here, books that showcase Black voices across all genres will be highlighted, affirming their contributions to American culture.
Did the Map Geek mention that you can attend all kinds of presentations by more than 120 renowned authors, poets and illustrators during the National Book Festival? Talks featuring all kinds of genres will be given across a variety of virtual stages. Once again, you can tune in from your living room, kitchen, bedroom, porch, boat or wherever you have wifi.
Best of all, the whole affair is absolutely free! Go now to register for the event and to begin lining up your program. The first day ranks as one of the best back-to-school happenings of the fall because Friday will be all about A Day of Programming for Schools, Children & Teens at Home. You can start viewing Friday at 9AM eastern time at the festival’s website or on the Library’s YouTube channel.
Once again, all this is absolutely free. If you want to buy a book, you can do that as well through the festival’s official bookseller, Politics & Prose, a renowned independent bookseller based in Washington DC.
As if all this wasn’t enough, this whole big reading extravaganza culminates with a PBS television special this Sunday, September 27 at 6PM eastern time. Hosted by Hoda Kotb and entitled “The Library of Congress National Book Festival: Celebrating American Ingenuity,” this program promises to be one great read, or rather great viewing.