The Library of Congress, for the first time in its history, has a space devoted to the reading interests of children and teens in its historic Thomas Jefferson Building. On Oct. 23, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington welcomed a group of young people, parents, and others to the new Young Readers Center. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and her three children and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and his son helped open the new center.
M.T. Anderson, who writes books for both children and teens, was the special guest author. He is the writer of such acclaimed and popular books as "The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing" and "Me, All Alone, at the End of the World."
Visitors to the Young Readers Center can choose to read a book from an up-to-date collection of noncirculating titles; they can browse the web’s kid-friendly sites; and they can attend programs especially designed for young readers. The center’s media room also provides an opportunity for visitors to view webcasts of young adult and children’s authors who have appeared at the National Book Festival.
"We want you and other young readers to have a place where you can gain an introduction to the wonders of your nation’s library," said Billington to the children gathered in the center.
The Young Readers Center is located in Room G 31, ground floor, of the Thomas Jefferson Building at the corner of First Street and Independence Ave. S.E. It is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and is closed on all federal holidays.
The new Young Readers Center is one of many programs administered by the Center for the Book. The Center for the Book also oversees the new LOC website www.read.gov, which provides reading resources especially for kids and teens, as well as adults, educators, and parents. A highlight of the site is the exclusive episodic story called "The Exquisite Corpse Adventure," a joint reading outreach project with the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance. A new episode and illustration from some of the nation's best authors and illustrators for young people (including M.T. Anderson!) are being posted on Read.Gov every two weeks. Coordinating educational and resource materials are available at: http://www.thencbla.org/Exquisite_Corpse/exquisite_home.html.
Photos courtesy of Barry Wheeler, Library of Congress.