Friday, September 4, 2015

JLW Expands Volunteer Support for 2015 National Book Festival

Junior League of Washington Expands Volunteer Support for 2015 National Book Festival
400 Volunteers to Promote Literacy, Donate Time to the Library of Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 2, 2015 -- The Junior League of Washington will expand its support of the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival (NBF) this year by providing 400 volunteers, up from 300 in 2014, to assist with the event. This is the 13th year the JLW has provided volunteers to help with various day-of tasks pertaining to the free festival, which is set to attract tens of thousands of attendees on Saturday, Sept. 5.

“The Junior League of Washington is proud of our extended history with the Library of Congress’ National Book Festival. We value the opportunity the festival provides for us to promote the importance of volunteerism while supporting an initiative that highlights the positive impact of books and literacy,” said Junior League of Washington President Cameron Gilreath.

From 2003 to 2014, almost 5,000 JLW volunteers have provided more than 31,000 volunteer hours to the NBF.

“We are committed to using our resources where we can have the largest community impact, which is why we focus on illiteracy, one of the greatest challenges facing the D.C. metro area. Our volunteers look forward to supporting this vibrant, influential event each year, and we are excited to increase our commitment to the Library of Congress and the festival,” Gilreath continued.

Gilreath also notes that the NBF occurs during National Literacy Month.

For the first time in its 13-year partnership, the NBF will highlight the JLW’s role as an important partner on the official festival poster. This is a tremendous opportunity to reflect the significant contributions provided by JLW volunteers. This year, more than 2,500 hours of volunteer service will be provided.

“We are thrilled our partnership with the Library of Congress and the National Book Festival has resulted in an even greater role for the Junior League of Washington,” said Gilreath.

The JLW, along with the Library of Congress, will welcome book enthusiasts and 175 authors to the NBF on Sept. 5. League volunteers are integral to the success of the event, helping attendees navigate the Washington Convention Center, directing patrons through the author and illustrator signing lines, managing traffic flow and answering questions.

“We appreciate the opportunity to grow and evolve alongside the festival, and look forward to once again providing the Library of Congress with an enthusiastic and committed volunteer force,” said Gilreath.


Our Mission: The Junior League of Washington is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

Our Focus: Our nearly 2,400 members volunteer at community agencies throughout the Washington Metro area, providing aid where their expertise is needed most. You can find us tutoring a child, mentoring parents at a daycare center for homeless children, serving on community boards, or delivering life skills seminars to community members in recovery programs. Since 1999, the JLW has focused our volunteer resources on literacy issues: adult, child, and cultural.

For more information, please visit

Monday, August 31, 2015

Thomas Jefferson Can’t Live Without Books, and Neither Can JLW Volunteers

The 15th annual Library of Congress (LOC) National Book Festival is this Saturday, Sept. 5, from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., at the Washington Convention Center. More than 150 authors and illustrators, librarians from across the country, and new activities and presentations guarantee to make this year’s festival a worthwhile event.

Not only is this year the 15th anniversary, but the LOC is also celebrating another big milestone. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the LOC’s acquisition of Thomas Jefferson’s personal library. As a tribute to the former president’s collection and love of books, the theme of the 2015 book festival is centered around a quote of Jefferson’s, “I cannot live without books.” This quote and theme is captured in the poster for this year’s festival, which was created by acclaimed illustrator and designer Peter de Sève!

Jefferson isn’t the only one who can’t live without books. By helping provide volunteers for the National Book Festival for the past 13 years, the Junior League of Washington has been able to help promote literacy in its community while assisting in the festival’s success every year. By volunteering at the festival, Junior League volunteers receive the chance to interact with amazing authors, help librarians across the country and make sure festival attendees have the best experience possible.

Some of the new offerings and activities at this year’s National Book Festival are highlighted below, but remember, while the festival continues to change and grow, one thing never changes—it is always a place for people who cannot live without books.

For the Romantics
At 7:15 p.m. National Public Radio’s Petra Mayer will emcee a program devoted to romance fiction, featuring romance authors Sarah MacLean, Beverly Jenkins and Paige Tyler.

Calling All Movie Lovers
At 8 p.m., A. Scott Berg, winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award, will give an overview of Sam Goldwyn’s Hollywood and the rise of the film industry while “Washington Post” film critic Ann Hornaday will moderate a panel on the topic.

If you’re a History Buff
From 2:35 to 7:10 p.m., a variety of writers on war will discuss the human side of war and provide a tribute to the American war experience. Award-winning broadcast journalist Tom Brokaw will speak about his book “The Greatest Generation.” Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Rick Atkinson will talk about human stories from his Liberation trilogy, National Book Award finalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran and co-author Howard Schultz will discuss their book on veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and West Point Professor Elizabeth Samet will host a discussion with war novelists who have written about Iraq and Afghanistan.

JLW encourages you to tell your family and friends to attend the National Book Festival, or bring them with you when you go! If you want to stay up-to-date on all book festival news and activities, make sure to download the new National Book Festival app, which will include the complete schedule of author presentations, book signing lines and activities. Finally, thank you to all who have signed up to volunteer; your time and dedication is valued and appreciated by all who love books!