On September 24, 2016, the Library of Congress welcomed thousands of people to the Washington Convention Center to celebrate its 16th National Book Festival, and on hand were almost 425 Junior League of Washington (JLW) volunteers to welcome festivalgoers and help make the event a success.
|Literary Events Planning Committee members get ready to kick of National Book Festival!|
The theme of this year’s book festival was showing that books can be a journey to discovery, but for JLW, the National Book Festival itself has been a journey in discovery and rewarding experiences.
This year marked the 14th consecutive year JLW provided necessary volunteer support to the National Book Festival, and in recognition of this history, the JLW logo was featured on the official National Book Festival poster for the second year in a row.
|This year’s official National Book Festival poster was designed by illustrator Yuko Shimizu and featured the JLW logo for the second year in a row.|
Additionally, this year nearly 425 JLW volunteers helped support the festival, meaning that over the past 14 years, 5,700 JLW volunteers have given 37,000 hours of their time to the National Book Festival.
Those are some pretty big numbers, but this year there were also a couple of firsts – both for JLW and the Library of Congress. The JLW logo was added to JLW volunteer T-shirts for the first time, and this was the first festival to feature newly sworn-in Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. Dr. Hayden – the first woman to hold the role – even took the time to swing by the JLW check-in table, greet volunteers, and learn about the JLW’s contribution to the festival.
|JLW volunteers meet Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden.|
JLW’s journey with National Book Festival has led JLW to take charge of providing support in three key areas of the festival: the Pavilion of the States, book sales, and the book-signing lines.
At the Pavilion of the States, JLW volunteers were paired with librarians from across the country and helped promote books from the librarians’ states. Festivalgoers visiting Oklahoma’s table even got a fun surprise when featured Oklahoma author Alton Carter showed up to sign copies of his book, The Boy Who Carried Bricks!
|A JLW volunteer dons a Statue of Liberty crown while promoting books from the Empire State at the Pavilion of States!|
Over at the book-signing lines, JLW volunteers once again showed their crowd-control prowess and helped authors such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kristin Hannah, Salman Rushdie, Bob Woodward, Lois Lowry, and Jacqueline Woodson interact with fans and sign books in an orderly fashion. A special moment came at the end of the night when Rep. John Lewis, after helping celebrate the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture earlier in the day, signed copies of his graphic memoir trilogy “March” for over two hours, making sure he met every person in line.
|JLW volunteers smile with author Salmon Rushdie following a successful book signing session!|
|JLW volunteers welcome Rep. John Lewis to the book signing line area.|
Meanwhile, JLW volunteers in the book sales area helped festivalgoers find books by their favorite authors to get signed, helped hand out the official festival poster, and helped distribute the ever popular C-SPAN National Book Festival bags!
|JLW volunteers help distribute book festival posters and C-SPAN event bags in the book signing line area!|
Now, JLW volunteers can gear up for more special moments and memories - next year’s festival is scheduled for September 2, 2017, and JLW volunteers will be back to continue the journey.
|LEP committee members celebrate the end of a successful National Book Festival!|