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Media Advisory

Date: December 20, 2002
Contact: Donna DuSell
271-2392
Center for the Book Comes to New Hampshire

The Library of Congress recently announced its acceptance of the State Library's proposal to establish a Center for the Book in New Hampshire. The national Center for the Book in the Library of Congress was established in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading and libraries. Individual states started their own centers in 1984; New Hampshire's addition (along with other 2002 new members New York, Iowa, South Dakota, Rhode Island and Delaware) fills out the roster at 50 states.

"New Hampshire is proud to join the state center network," said State Librarian Michael York. "Our positive involvement in the Pavilion of States at the 2nd National Book Festival helped us to make the decision to apply." In anticipation of that event, Katie McDonough, Field Services Coordinator for the State Library, compiled and created materials for distribution that demonstrated the range of activities already underway. "When you pull all the information together you realize the many opportunities available in New Hampshire," said McDonough; "our task is to coordinate and publicize these events for maximum public advantage."

The Center for the Book at the New Hampshire State Library will serve as an umbrella and clearinghouse for the state's literary community, initially focusing on promoting and expanding existing programs. The creation and development of a Web site is also planned. New project ideas include an interactive version of a "Literary Map of New Hampshire," a Bookchat Listserv, and a Franco-American Book Festival, to be developed in cooperation with the American Canadian French Cultural Exchange Commission.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said of New Hampshire's addition, "This is a significant achievement to have all 50 states in formal partnership with the Library of Congress in promoting books, reading and the power of knowledge in a democracy."

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