Promoting Books, Reading, and Libraries

FamilyPicturesEvery year, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission joins state libraries from across the U.S. at the National Book Festival in Washington D.C., to be held this year on September 5. This annual event was begun by First Lady Laura Bush and was based on the very successful Texas Book Festival. The event is a joint venture of the Library of Congress and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to promote books and reading.

And like every other state, we chose a book to represent us at the National Book Festival. This year’s selection–made in consultation with librarians and educators across the state–will be Family Pictures / Cuadros de Familia, by Texas author Carmen Lomas Garza. This beautiful bilingual book, published originally in 1990, brings together a set of paintings by this acclaimed artist with her personal narrative of growing up in Latino communities in Kingsville in South Texas. The book was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, a Library of Congress Best Book of the Year, and has won many other honors and accolades.

I am very happy to announce that Carmen Lomas Garza has agreed to participate in a program at the Texas State Library on Sunday, October 18, at 1 p.m. during the Texas Book Festival. The program will be a kick-off for the Texas Center for the Book, which is moving from its longtime home at the Dallas Public Library to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The Center for the Book–affiliated with the National Center for the Book at the Library of Congress–promotes the importance of books, reading and libraries. The Texas Center for the Book will offer a variety of activities to encourage reading and promote books and libraries during the coming year, such as “Letters about Literature,” a statewide writing contest for students in grades 4 to 12, and a celebration of the 20th anniversary of Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros (Day of the Child, Day of the Book), a national celebration of books and reading with an emphasis on multicultural families.

We are excited to be promoting these and other activities to encourage children to enter school reading or ready to read and to stimulate a lifelong love of reading. We hope you will join us on October 18, at 1 p.m. for this exciting program with Carmen Lomas Garza.

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