A virtual National Book Festival featuring the Road Map to Reading and Indiana’s ‘Wake Up, Woods’

Like most things in 2020, the National Book Festival looks nothing like it has in the past. Last year, tens of thousands of attendees crammed themselves into long lines to meet their favorite authors. They joined hundreds of other literary buffs in giant halls at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. to watch interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and famous politicians. They snaked their way through the crowded vendor hall, picking up free bookmarks, posters, and other swag from the hundreds of booths and stages, all catering to the book-loving public who swarmed the festival in droves.

Past National Book Festivals included the crowded Pavilion of the States

None of that is possible in this year’s COVID-19 reality. Instead, the festival has gone virtual. One thing that has always been true of the festival is that it is a free event, open to the public. This year, the public does not only include the people who can make it to Washington, it includes anyone with access to a computer. Virtual attendees will be able to explore nine author “stages” where more than 120 authors will be featured, including many who will be participating in live events where participants can interact with the presenters in real time.

In addition, the 2020 festival will include the Roadmap to Reading feature, a virtual iteration of the beloved Pavilion of the States attraction from years past. In the old days, the Pavilion of the States was one of the most crowded areas of the festival. Each state and territory of the U.S. had a booth where they’d feature a special book, highlight local authors and give away more swag than you could fit in one literary themed tote-bag. This year, each state will be presenting virtual content, including videos and poetry at their virtual booths.

Visit the Roadmap to Reading to experience literary content from all the states

You can visit Indiana at the 2020 National Book Festival by navigating to the National Book Festival’s website. Register to attend the festival, and once you are on the landing page, click on Discover Great Reads to explore as many states as you like, including Indiana.

Indiana’s booth will have lots of content surrounding our chosen book for the festival, “Wake Up, Woods.” Sammy the Interviewing Toucan will do a very special interview with the two authors of the book and there will be plenty of information about Indiana native plants.

You can watch a preview of the Wake Up, Woods interview on Sept. 22 on the Indiana State Library’s Facebook page

The 20th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held online Sept. 25-27. For news and updates, follow the festival blog and subscribe to latest updates.

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian Suzanne Walker.

Toucan Tuesdays author interview series to start this month

Do you love authors? The Indiana Center for the Book is excited to announce an opportunity for you to learn more about Indiana authors through their new initiative, Toucan Tuesdays at 2:00! Join us on the Indiana State Library’s Facebook page on select Tuesdays at 2 p.m. Eastern Time for a weekly Facebook premiere party to watch the newest installment and share your comments in real time. You do not need to have a Facebook account to watch the videos.

Each video features an Indiana writer being interviewed by the Indiana Young Readers Center’s chatty correspondent, Sammy the Interviewing Toucan. Join us for one or more of these premieres:

June 9 – Barb Shoup
June 16 – Maurice Broaddus
June 23 – Skila Brown
June 30 – Rob Harrell
July 7 – Peggy Reiff Miller
July 14 – B. A. Williamson
July 21 – Michele Eich
July 28 – Meg DamakasAfter making their premieres on social media, the full interviews will be available to stream on the Indiana State Library’s YouTube page.

If you are an Indiana author and are interested in being interviewed, please reach out to Suzanne Walker. We are interested in authors of fiction and poetry for all ages.

We hope you can join us!

This blog post was submitted by Indiana Young Readers Center Librarian Suzanne Walker.

Authors’ ‘love letters’ hidden in Indiana library books

The Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award is celebrating 10 years this year! To help celebrate the award, there are over 15 letters from Indiana authors being tucked into books in public libraries all around the state. Lucky readers will find these notes and will get to keep them. The program is called “Love Letters to Our State’s Readers” and is coordinated by the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award and the Indiana Center for the Book at the Indiana State Library.

Participating authors include Ray Boomhower, Sarah Gerkensmeyer, John Green, Norbert Krapf, Lori Rader-Day, Scott Russell Sanders and Barb Shoup. The notes range from short and sweet handwritten postcards to long typed letters to the reader. Participating libraries were chosen based on geographic areas where the authors are from. When a reader finds a note in a book, they receive a postcard about the program as well. The postcard says:

“When reading a story, do you ever wonder about the author who created it? They think about you! And many of them are even Hoosiers like yourself, including the author of the book you’re reading now. As we celebrate 10 years of the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, some of our past winners wanted to thank you for your role in keeping their stories alive. Enjoy this note from them. You’re welcome to keep it!”

Readers interested in finding a note should watch the #INauthor hashtag. As notes are being hidden, clues as to their whereabouts will be posted on Twitter and Facebook. Readers who find the notes are welcome to post out as well using the #INauthor hashtag to share their excitement. Notes will hit library shelves as early as Aug. 6, 2018 and will continue to be hidden in the weeks leading up to the Indiana Authors Award Dinner on Oct. 13, 2018. Caity Withers, development officer at the Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, had this to say about the program, “If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the 10 years of this award program, it’s that the relationship between readers and writers is symbiotic. Writers start as readers who fell in love with a book and we need writers to keep creating books readers will fall in love with. Indiana is full of book lovers, both readers and writers, and we’re excited to celebrate them through this initiative.”

Want to learn more about authors in your own community? Check out the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award or The Indiana Center for the Book.

Submitted by Suzanne Walker, Indiana Young Readers Center librarian at the Indiana State Library and director of the Indiana Center for the Book.

Indiana Center for the Book partners for webinar series about books and authors

The Indiana Center for the Book and the Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award are partnering on a series of webinars focused on authors and reading. All webinars are offered in partnership with the Indiana State Library’s Professional Development Office (PDO) and are each eligible for one LEU. The Indiana Center for the Book promotes interest in reading, writing, literacy, libraries and Indiana’s literary heritage by sponsoring events like these. The Indiana Authors Award seeks to recognize the contributions of Indiana authors to the literary landscape in Indiana and across the nation.

The Care and Feeding of Authors: Planning a Successful Author Visit – 1 LEU
Date: August 7, 2018 Time: 10 a.m. EST  Format: Adobe Connect Webinar
Looking to book an author at your library? Learn how to put your library’s best professional foot forward and avoid common pitfalls. Join Indiana author Kelsey Timmerman and Indiana’s Letters About Literature Coordinator Suzanne Walker for this discussion about best practices when booking an author. From making sure their dietary needs are met to paying them efficiently, there’s more to booking an author than just deciding on a date. This webinar is hosted by Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award Program Coordinator Caity Withers. Be sure to bring all of your questions regarding booking authors.
Presenters: Kelsey Timmerman, author; Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book; Caity Withers, Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award

Indiana Authors: What’s New in Kids Lit? – 1 LEU
Date: August 15, 2018 Time: 10 a.m. EST Format: Adobe Connect Webinar
Indiana continues to produce great authors for kids. Join Shirley Mullin, owner of Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore in Indianapolis, for a conversation about books by new Indiana authors who write for children and discover great authors to book at your library.
Presenters: Shirley Mullin, owner of Kids Ink Children’s bookstore; Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book;  Caity Withers, Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award

Diversifying Your Book Club by Selection and Membership – 1 LEU
Date: September 11, 2018 Time: 10 a.m. EST Format: Adobe Connect Webinar
Are you tired of reading the same books for your book clubs? Are you hoping to reach new audiences? Join Tiffani Carter, the manager of the West Indianapolis Branch of the Indianapolis Public Library (IndyPL) for some tips and best practices to consider when choosing your book club selections and to learn how to recruit new participants.
Presenters: Tiffani Carter, manager of the West Indianapolis Branch of IndyPL; Suzanne Walker, director of the Indiana Center for the Book; Caity Withers, Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award

Please register to attend. Registration links can be found above. All three webinars will be recorded and available on the Indiana State Library’s Archived Webinars page within 30 days of their production. Find other free webinars from the Indiana State Library here.

Submitted by Suzanne Walker, Indiana Young Readers Center librarian at the Indiana State Library and director of the Indiana Center for the Book.