Last weekend, TSLAC participated in the 21st annual Texas Book Festival. Once again this year the agency had a booth in the festival exhibit tents, showcasing the many services and resources provided by TSLAC to individuals, state government, libraries, and local governments across the state. We are grateful to both staff and members of
the Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas for working the booth.
On the Thursday evening before the start of the Festival, TSLAC and the TBF collaborated on an exciting new program called the Texas Authors Summit. This event invited Texas authors to come together for an evening in Zavala building and to learn about the resources that TSLAC offers to authors in researching their books. Several dozen authors attended the event, mingled, networked, met staff, and toured the stacks.
I was honored to moderate a panel at the Summit with two authors, Nikki Loftin, author of Wish Girl, a novel for young adults set in the Texas hill country, and our Texas Great Read for the National Book Festival, and Caroline Gnagy, author of Texas Jailhouse Music: A Prison Band History. Both authors shared information about their research and the background for their books.
The event was organized by the Texas Center for the Book and coordinator Rebekah Manley, who also presented the first annual Center for the Book Literacy Award of $1,000 to Midland Need to Read at the event.
TSLAC and the Texas Center for the Book appreciates the close partnership with the Texas Book Festival. The TBF staff under the leadership of Executive Director Lois Kim, are responsible for one of the most successful and vibrant book festivals in the U.S. Those of us in Texas and in Austin, are fortunate to be able to participate in this event each year the proceeds from which have benefitted hundreds of Texas public libraries as well as the TBF signature program, Reading Rock Stars.
TSLAC participation in the Texas Book Festival extended to a Lit Crawl event called “Band Books: Libraries Rock” held Saturday evening at the Terrazas Branch of the Austin Public Library, in partnership with APL and the Texas Library Association. The event featured Echo and the Bats, a great band comprised of APL youth services staff, and appearances by two notable authors, Yuyi Morales, who provided a spirited reading of her book, Niño Wrestles the World, and R.L. Stine of Goosebumps fame who read a very spooky—and funny—story to the adoring crowd.
These types of fun events spread information about the services offered at TSLAC, as well as generating excitement for the wonderful work that libraries across Texas do to promote literacy and a love of books and reading. We can’t wait to return to next year’s Texas Book Festival.