New York State Library Exhibit at the 2010 National Book Festival

Over 20,000 visit the New York State Library Exhibit at the National Book Festival, Saturday, September 25, Washington, DC.

NYS Table at Pavilion of the States. L-R: Erika Halstead, Karen Balsen, Rebecca Stead, Rocco Staino and a Junior League volunteer.The National Book Festival is organized and sponsored by the Library of Congress, with Honorary Chairs President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington and David M. Rubenstein, festival $5 million dollar donor, are co-chairs of the new National Book Festival Board.

New York State Table at Pavilion of the States. L-R: Erika Halstead, New York Council for the Humanities; Karen Balsen, New York State Library; Rebecca Stead, New York State author and 2010 Newbery Award winner; Rocco Staino, Empire Center for the Book; and Junior League volunteer.


Author Rebecca Stead and fansThe New York State Library partnered with the Empire Center for the Book and the New York Council for the Humanities to create a display of New York State’s rich literary heritage. Karen Balsen, New York State Library, Rocco Staino, Empire Book Festival, Erika Halstead, New York Council for the Humanities and volunteers stamped 10,000 US maps for children journeying through the exhibit’s location in the Pavilion of the States, distributed 10,000 New York themed tattoos and 20,000 bookmarks featuring fun and educational reading lists by grade level, and provided maps and New York State literary related materials to over 20,000 festival-goers. An added treat for visitors to the New York State display was the opportunity to meet New York author, Rebecca Stead, who graciously spoke with enthusiastic children and parents who have read her books. Ms. Stead autographed copies of her 2010 Newbery Award-winning book When You Reach Meexternal link opens in a new window.

New York State table showing Literary Map and tattoos

Views of the New York State table showing Literary Map and tattoos (above and right)

Another view of the New York State table
The Festival celebrated creativity and imagination in its many pavilions including: Let’s Read America; Pavilion of the States; Children; Teens & Children; Fiction & Mystery; Poetry & Prose; History & Biography; and the Library of Congress pavilion. "This year the National Book Festival is celebrating a decade of words and wonder, giving nearly 1 million people the opportunity to interact directly with some of the most gifted and most popular authors of our time, and millions more to enjoy the experience online," Billington said. "Thanks to Mr. Rubenstein and all of our sponsors and supporters, this national tradition will continue for years to come."

More than 70 best-selling authors, poets and illustrators gave presentations including Isabel Allende, Ken Follett, Michele Norris, Suzanne Collins, Laura Bush, Jonathan Franzen, Brad Meltzer, Jane Smiley, David Remnick, Craig Robinson, Anchee Min, Pat Mora, Jules Feiffer, Elizabeth Kostova, Scott Turow, Judith Viorst, Peter Straub, Gordon S. Wood, Diana Gabaldon, Martha Grimes, Timothy Egan, Bruce Feiler, Wil Haygood and Spike Mendelsohn.

For those who were unable to attend the festival or missed a pavilion, the authors’ presentations are available as webcasts on the festival homepageexternal link opens in a new window. Highlights of the festival included:

  • The launch of "Gateway to Knowledgeexternal link opens in a new window," a traveling exhibit
  • A "readers' theater" presentation led by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Katherine Paterson of the final chapter of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure. The story can be found online exclusively at link opens in a new window.
  • The Digital Bookmobile, a high-tech exhibit powered by OverDrive, which supports reading and literacy with eBooks from libraries.
  • Children sang along with PBS KIDS’ SteveSongs, enjoyed Read Alouds with Martha from Martha Speaks, and posed for pictures with PBS KIDS characters from the cast of Super Why, Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, Buddy from Dinosaur Train, and other favorite characters such as Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and the Cat in the Hat.
  • Target, a charter sponsor of the National Book Festival, featured "Mail from the Mall," where festival-goers had their image incorporated into the book festival poster and put on a postcard.
The 2010 National Book Festival is made possible through the generous support of Co-Chairman of the National Book Festival Board David M. Rubenstein; Charter Sponsors Target and The Washington Post; Patrons AT&T, Institute of Museum and Library Services, The James Madison Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and PBS KIDS Raising Readers; Contributors Borders, Digital Bookmobile powered by OverDrive, Penguin Group (USA),, Scholastic Inc. and the Library of Congress Federal Credit Union; and Friends The Hay-Adams, the Marshall B. Coyne Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. Thanks also to C-SPAN2’s Book TV and The Junior League of Washington.
Last Updated: June 23, 2015