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Wednesday, December 06, 2023

BATON ROUGE, La. – More than 21,000 people attended the 2023 Louisiana Book Festival and associated events, continuing a rebound that began once the festival returned to in-person programming.

"It's not surprising the number of people who attend the Louisiana Book Festival is growing after a few years in the virtual world. Year in and year out, the staff puts together an amazing lineup of authors and presentations," said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. "Like a lot of events, the book festival had to remind people that it was back in person. The public has obviously received that message and wholeheartedly embraced the live festival's return."

Almost 200 authors and more than 100 exhibitors took part in the 19th Louisiana Book Festival, which was held Saturday, October 28, at the State Library of Louisiana, Capitol Park Museum, and the State Capitol. Attendance was up from 2022, which totaled about 14,000 people despite a rainy day that year.

"We could not have asked for better weather this year," said State Librarian Meg Placke. "That combined with the lineup was a recipe for success. We are so grateful to everyone who comes back every year, and we can't wait to see them and lots of new faces next year for the 20th Louisiana Book Festival."

While most of the activity happens in Baton Rouge the day of the festival, there are writing workshops held the day before the festival and programs at schools and public libraries around the state in the days before and after. One of the goals of the Louisiana Book Festival is to inspire a love of literature and reading at an early age.

"That's why we have such a large list of children's and young adult authors who take part every year," said Jim Davis, the book festival's executive director. "But we know not everyone can make it to Baton Rouge for the big day, so we take a little bit of the festival to them. They seem to love it as much as we hoped they would, and we couldn't do it without the willingness and enthusiasm of our wonderful authors and presenters to promote literacy and reading."

The date of the 2024 Louisiana Book Festival will be announced in the coming weeks on LouisianaBookFestival.org and the festival's social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.

The Louisiana Center for the Book, the official state affiliate of the Library of Congress Center for the Book, was established in the State Library of Louisiana in 1994. Its mission is to stimulate public interest in reading, books, literacy, and libraries and to celebrate Louisiana's rich literary heritage through events such as the Louisiana Book Festival.

Daniel Monteverde
State Library of Louisiana
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Veronica Mosgrove
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
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