Libraries Expand Support for World Book Night

By Michelle Lee on February 10, 2014

WBN2014 logo 672x652 300x291 Libraries Expand Support for World Book NightLibrary participation in World Book Night US is increasing, with libraries hosting launch events around the country for the fourth iteration of the annual April 23 event, which encourages public reading by distributing about a half-million free books and honors Shakespeare’s birthday.

The 30-35 titles are chosen by an independent panel of librarians and booksellers. The authors waive their royalties and publishers pay the costs of producing the specially printed editions. The books that volunteers pass out are sent to libraries and bookstores because these places act as community centers and have cheaper shipping rates, said Carl Lennertz, executive director for World Book Night US. Some libraries and bookstores host a special reception when the books arrive to foster community spirit among the volunteers. Last year, World Book Night US had volunteers in 5,200 towns and cities in all 50 states and a record 1,055 libraries and bookstores participate, Lennertz said.

NYPL Partnership Expands

The New York Public Library (NYPL) main building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street will host a public talk April 22 with several authors whose books have been selected for 2014 World Book Night US distribution. This is the first time NYPL is holding official World Book Night launch events; prior World Book Night events were held at the Barnes and Noble store in Union Square.

NYPL was interested in becoming a partner because both organizations share the common theme of providing public access to free books, said Kelly Yim, the NYPL adult programming specialist who helped organize the library events with Christopher Platt, director of Book Ops.

The guest list at the main library event includes writers Victoria Bond, Malcolm Gladwell, Garrison Keillor, Walter Dean Myers, Esmeralda Santiago, T.R. Simon, and Tobias Wolff. The talk will take place at 6 p.m. in the 250-seat Edna Barnes Salomon Room, and will also be live-streamed on the Internet. Read more…

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