First Time at National Book Festival Gala

National Book Festival Gala with Friends

Leticia, me, Amy, and Sandie Photo courtesy of  Leticia aka TechSavvyMama

This weekend I had the chance to attend the National Book Festival Gala as a guest of PBS Kids. I’d never attended the gala before but heard such great things from my friends Leticia of Tech Savvy Mama and Amy of TeachMama. The gala is held at the Library of Congress, which I have yet to visit in my 10 years in the DC metro area. It’s a gorgeous building, especially during sunset.

Inside Library of Congress

There was a presentation honoring Don DeLillo as the recipient of 2013 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. I’ve never read any of his novels but they are definitely on my list.  Cristina Garcia gave a very thoughtful talk about banned books (one of hers was recently banned in Arizona) and how books have the power to change us and in turn the world. It’s the start Banned Books Week so a very timely speech she made.

Card catalog Library of Congress

A little library humor

After dinner, we explored the historic building including the Reading Room and one of the rooms where the card catalog is stored. There are still people who use it! They stopped updating it a while back (I can’t remember the year). Did you ever use a card catalog? Or am I dating myself here?

Book conveyor at Library of Congress

I even geeked out a bit and  took a photo of the conveyor belt that used to bring up the books people requested. It’s been broke for a while and there’s not plans to repair it due to budget cuts.

I had a lovely evening out with my friends who love books as much as I do! A big thanks to Melissa at PBS Kids!

We did take the kids out to the actual National Book Festival too. I’ll share that in another post!


  1. shelly September 25, 2013
    • ThienKimL September 25, 2013
  2. morninglightmama October 5, 2013