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Letters About Literature Call For Entries

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The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library of Louisiana, in partnership with the Louisiana Writing Project, proudly announces its third consecutive year as state sponsor of Letters About Literature, a national reading-writing contest for students.

The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, in partnership with Target Corporation and affiliate state centers for the book, annually invites readers in grades four through 12 to enter the Letters About Literature competition.

With the involvement of teachers, librarians, parents, the Louisiana Writing Project, and most importantly the participating students themselves, last year’s sponsorship of Letters About Literature by the Louisiana Center for the Book resulted in an amazing 1,097 entries, up from 42 entries in 2008 before the Center was a sponsor..

“We are so pleased with the increase in student participation in Letters About Literature since the Louisiana Center for the Book became a sponsor two years ago,” said State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton. “This particular program is an exceptional way for us to encourage our youth to read; and because participation in the contest requires reflective reading, the contest emphasizes the personal rewards to be gained from the reading experience.”

To enter, the student reader writes a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre--fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, contemporary or classic--explaining how that author's work, whether book, short story, poem, essay, or speech, changed the reader's way of thinking about the world or themselves. The submission, in the form of a personal letter rather than a book report or fan letter, should express how the chosen book has impacted the reader’s life or worldview.

There are three competition levels: Level I for students in grades 4-6, Level II for grades 7-8 and Level III, grades 9-12. Entrants must be 9 years of age or older as of 9/1/11.  Grade levels refer to the 2011-12 school year.

The Letters About Literature contest is now open, and submissions must be sent directly to the national Letters About Literature address (Guidelines Individual 2012.pdf), postmarked by Friday, Jan. 6, 2012, and received by LAL Central no later than Tuesday, January 17, 2012.  Submissions inappropriately sent to the Louisiana Center for the Book will not be forwarded or returned.  See Official Rules for detailed information, national mailing address, and required entry coupon to be attached to each entry. Further information and detailed guidelines for Letters About Literature and the required downloadable entry coupon may be found at www.lettersaboutliterature.org (How to Enter).  Teachers and Librarians: see the specific attached instructions or website instructions regarding group submissions.  Individuals: Home schooled students and other individuals entering on their own are encouraged to also participate using the individual form, attached and available on the website.

LAL Central, the national Letters About Literature team, will choose the top 30-50 entries in each competition level from each state.  From these, a panel of Louisiana judges, primarily composed of Louisiana language arts teachers and librarians chosen in partnership with the Louisiana Writing Project, will choose a first, second, and third place winner for each grade level on or about March 15, to be announced as soon as possible thereafter.  State honorable mentions may be awarded at the sole discretion of the state judges.  The letters by the state first-place winners for each competition level are sent back to LAL Central where they are then in the running for the national awards.

State first-place winners will each receive a $50 Target GiftCard through the national organization.  Additionally, in Louisiana for the 2012 contest, winners in each competition level will receive $100 for first place, $75 for second place, and $50 for third place, made possible by a grant from Target Corporation.

National winners, announced in late April, receive additional prizes and earn for their community or school or library LAL Reading Promotion Grants valued at thousands of dollars.  For the upcoming 2012 contest, six National Winners will each receive a $500 Target GiftCard and will secure a $10,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant in his/her name for a community or school library.  Twelve National Honorable Mention Winners will receive a $100 Target GiftCard and also secure for a school or community library a $1,000 LAL Reading Promotion Grant in his/her name.

Louisiana language arts teachers, school librarians, public children’s and YA librarians, and home school parents/instructors are encouraged to visit the Letters About Literature website for more information and lessons plans, and to incorporate the Letters About Literature into their curriculum and programming to facilitate Louisiana youth’s participation in and representation of our state in this rewarding reading and writing activity.

Lesson Plans: The Library of Congress provides free teaching materials, including lesson plans, writing samples, assessment checklists, and teacher tips--all downloadable through its website, www.lettersaboutliterature.org .

LAL focuses on reader response and reflective writing and supports educational standards established for reading and language arts as recommended by the International Reading Association and the National Council for the Teaching of English.

www.crt.la.gov

 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 1, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Louisiana Book Festival Returns to Downtown Baton Rouge

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The Louisiana Book Festival is returning to downtown Baton Rouge on Saturday, Oct. 29, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Festival-goers of all ages will celebrate books with more than 225 authors and panelists who are presenting and discussing their latest works. The festival is free and open to the public and takes place at the State Library of Louisiana, the Louisiana State Museum, the Louisiana State Capitol and its grounds.

More than 75 book-related organizations will have booths in the gardens between the State Capitol and the State Library. Throughout the day, visitors can enjoy exhibitions, demonstrations and performances. Visitors will also get a chance to buy books penned by the festival’s authors and have them sign their works at the Barnes & Noble bookselling and signing tent.

In 2009, the Louisiana Book Festival had more than 25,500 visitors, injecting nearly $2 million into the local economy. The festival was not held in 2010 due to state budget cuts. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, whose office oversees the State Library, has championed the Louisiana Book Festival’s return for 2011.

“The day I was inaugurated as Lieutenant Governor, I vowed to bring the Book Festival back,” Lt. Governor Dardenne said. “We knew that we had strong support and through the generosity of a private donor and other sponsors, we have done just that.”

While many of the programs are geared toward adult and young adult readers, the Young Readers Pavilion is a special area for children with performances by storytellers, as well as a wide assortment of crafts and activities. A cooking demonstration tent is featuring cookbook authors and chefs including John Folse and Rick Tramonto. Also, throughout the day, Louisiana musicians such as the Preservation Hall Trio and Chris Leblanc Band will perform.

“The Louisiana Book Festival has become a treasured Louisiana event that underscores the best of Louisiana’s rich culture,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “This event helps us build Louisiana’s culture of literacy.”

The festival kicks off with Edwin Edwards and his biographer Leo Honeycutt discussing Edwin Edwards, Governor of Louisiana and the presentation of the 2011 Louisiana Writer Award to acclaimed author James Wilcox.

The Louisiana Book Festival is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation; the State Library of Louisiana; the Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism; Office of Lt. Governor and the Louisiana Library Foundation. It is funded through federal and state grants as well as private sponsors such as the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities and Barnes & Noble.

Information about attending or being a volunteer at the 2011 Book Festival is available at http://www.LouisianaBookFestival.org or by calling 225.219.9503.

www.crt.la.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2011

Contact:
Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Volunteers Needed for Louisiana Book Festival

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The Louisiana Book Festival is back! Louisiana’s world-class celebration of readers, writers and their books is returning to downtown Baton Rouge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29. Join in the fun and experience the Louisiana Book Festival from within by volunteering.

The eighth annual event is featuring more than 225 authors and panelists discussing their books; the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents will enjoy storytelling performances, face painting and other activities; and a wide variety of book-related activities, demonstrations, exhibitions and performances.

Volunteers are essential to the festival’s success. Whether it is escorting the festival’s authors, serving as room monitors in the Capitol during panel discussions and author workshops or working with children in the Young Readers Pavilion, your help is needed. If you are interested in volunteering and would like more information about the festival as well as volunteer opportunities, visit www.louisianabookfestival.org/Volunteers.html.

The Louisiana Book Festival is co-sponsored by the Louisiana Center for the Book; the State Library of Louisiana; the Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism; Office of Lt. Governor and the Louisiana Library and Book Festival Foundation. Complete information on the 2011 Book Festival is available at www.LouisianaBookFestival.org or by calling 225.219.9503.

www.crt.la.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2011

Contact:
Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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One Book, One Festival to Feature Novel by Louisiana Author

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The 2011 Louisiana Book Festival is continuing the tradition of the One Book, One Festival discussion. Festival-goers can participate in the discussion by reading Of Love and Dust by Louisiana author Ernest Gaines before the Oct. 29 festival. Because some critics, as well as festival organizers, believe Of Love and Dust to be arguably the best Southern movie never made, the Book Festival will feature a hypothetical “casting discussion.” Scholar and writer Reggie Scott Young will ask participants to be casting directors for a film version of the book at 4 p.m. at the state capitol. Participating readers can prepare for the festival discussion by imagining the actors from today or the past whom they would select to play the roles of Marcus, Jim Kelly, Bonbon, Tite, Pauline and the other characters who appear in the story.

For more information about the Louisiana Book Festival, visit www.LouisianaBookFestival.org, call 225.219.9503 and like the Festival on Facebook.

www.crt.la.gov

 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Wordshops Available Day Before Book Festival

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The Louisiana Center for the Book in the State Library will host five creative writing WordShops. WordShops focus on writing styles including memoir, poetry and creative  nonfiction. They are taking place at the State Library of Louisiana, the Capitol Park Welcome Center and the Capitol Park Museum on Oct. 28, the day before the eighth annual Louisiana Book Festival.

Space is limited. To register for WordShops call Charlene Moore at 225.219.0946 or download the registration form at http://www.LouisianaBookFestival.org/LBFWordShops.html. Registration is $40 for  half-day WordShops and $75 for the full day. The fee for attending both a morning and afternoon WordShop is $75. Registration and payment are due by Oct. 25. Parking will be provided.

WordShops:
Full-day, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Rosemary Daniell — NERVE: Doing What It Takes to Turn the Truths of Your Life into Memoir

Half-day, 9 a.m. – Noon
John Biguenet — Function Follows Form: Why Genre Matters
Johnette Downing — Postcard Poetry for Elementary and Middle School Educators

Half-day, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Julie Kane — Semiformalists Have More Fun
Sheryl St. Germain — Conjuring Place: A Workshop in Creative Nonfiction

Complete information on the 2011 Book Festival and WordShops is available at www.LouisianaBookFestival.org or by calling 225.219.9503.

www.crt.la.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
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Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Novelist James Wilcox Honored With Louisiana Writer Award

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Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing this year’s recipient of the Louisiana Center for the Book Louisiana Writer Award, acclaimed author James Wilcox. Lt. Governor Dardenne and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton will recognize Wilcox at an award ceremony during the Louisiana Book Festival on Saturday, Oct. 29.

“After a one-year hiatus, the book festival will return to Capitol Park to celebrate books by authors from Louisiana and the rest of the world,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “The festival is a perfect time to give the Louisiana Writer Award which honors the best writers from our great state.”

The Louisiana Book Festival is a free, daylong event where authors such as Wilcox will hold workshops to discuss their works and careers. Writing workshops for hopeful authors are available as well as food, entertainment and activities for children.

Wilcox, director of creative writing at LSU, is the author of nine novels, most of which are set in or feature characters from the fictional town of Tula Springs, La. His most famous novel, Modern Baptists, was released in 1983 and has been included in Harold Bloom’s The Western Canon and was listed in the GQ 45th anniversary issue as one of the best works of fiction published in the past 45 years.

“James Wilcox and his enduring and ongoing work, from Modern Baptists to Hunk City, exemplify Louisiana’s rich cultural and literary heritage,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “Born in Hammond, James has drawn on his Louisiana experience to create unforgettable residents of his fictional Tula Springs. Though it doesn’t really exist, anyone who lives in Louisiana has been there or knows somebody who lives there.“

Wilcox’s book reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Elle. His eighth novel, Heavenly Days, was featured on the New York Times Notable Book list. Wilcox currently holds the MacCurdy Distinguished Professorship in the LSU College of Arts and Sciences.

The Louisiana Writer Award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the literary and intellectual life of Louisiana. Past recipients include novelist and short story writer Tim Gautreaux; children’s author William Joyce; poets Yusef Komunyakaa and William Jay Smith; historian Carl A. Brasseaux; novelists James Lee Burke, Ernest J. Gaines, Shirley Ann Grau, Elmore Leonard and Valerie Martin; and scholar Lewis P. Simpson.

For more information about the Louisiana Book Festival, visit www.LouisianaBookFestival.org

www.crt.la.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Laptop Check-Out Program Begins in Libraries throughout the State this Summer

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Following a successful pilot program in Ouachita, Jefferson Davis and West Baton Rouge parishes, the State Library, in partnership with public libraries, is implementing a statewide laptop check-out program. The program is funded through an $8.8 million competitive grant awarded to the State Library of Louisiana in February 2010 from the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program of the Department of Commerce. The State Library is supplying 640 laptop computers to public libraries throughout the state, with each parish receiving 10 laptops. The process will be carried out on a regional basis to reduce travel costs and facilitate speedy deployment. Laptops will be available in every parish for patrons to borrow by the end of the year.

“This new laptop program is designed to give more citizens access to technology that can better their future and Louisiana’s future,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “Many Louisianans do not have home computers and only 43 percent of Louisianans have access to the Internet at home.”

The laptops are Internet-ready so that citizens can take them to any hot spot to access the Internet. The laptops also have GPS software that allows the State Library to recover them in the event of loss or theft.

The three-year grant that supports the laptop program, Louisiana Libraries: Connecting People to Their Potential, is also enabling the State Library to provide workforce development tools and training, online tutoring and health and wellness education available to citizens. Programs made available through the grant include high-end electronic resources that offer skills practice and live one-on-one tutoring to students and those preparing for various entrance exams. In addition, the State Library created the Louisiana Jobs & Career Center website, www.lajacc.org, compiling the best job search and career tools for Louisianans.

“We have an outstanding opportunity with this grant to make a fundamental difference in the lives of our citizens,” State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton said. “To date, we have used only 39 percent of the total grant and have much left to do. We will continue to partner with Louisiana’s 339 public libraries to offer more training statewide.”

More than 7,000 citizens have learned computer application and business skills from attending the 1,200 free classes that the State Library has presented thus far in partnership with local public libraries.

To find out more, call 888.487.2700 or visit www.lajacc.org or www.state.lib.la.us.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
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Winners of Library Teen Video Challenge Announced

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Left to right: Nykala Shea Bell, Annie Dronet, Holland Campbell, Ryan Voorhies. Sitting: Dallas Mouton.
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne is announcing the Louisiana winners of the first Collaborative Summer Library Program, Teen Video Challenge, a national program managed locally by the State Library of Louisiana. A team of teenagers representing the Lafayette Public Library created the winning Louisiana video: Dallas Mouton, Holland Campbell, Nykala Bell, Anne Dronet and Ryan Voorhies. The video features the teens participating in a focus group to determine why they do not want to spend their summer at a public library. The video then shifts to showing the teens enjoying the summer activities they did not think they could actually do in a library.  To view the winning videos, visit the CSLP website and watch the Louisiana video, http://cslpreads.org/winners.html

“The reading enrichment programs that the State Library of Louisiana provides are critical to the future success of the state,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. “A strong foundation in reading skills naturally produces a stronger, more educated workforce and that only strengthens Louisiana’s overall economy.”
Winning videos from the 20 participating states will be used by public libraries to promote summer reading nationwide. The video competition encourages teens to promote summer reading and public libraries with a focus on the 2011 slogan, You Are Here.

State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton is delighted with the creative, enthusiastic response from participating teens. “Teens have always been a hard market to reach and today it is even more difficult to attract their attention. They have numerous opportunities to choose from when deciding how they’re going to spend their time and energy. We are glad these teens chose a public library program to engage their creativity,” Hamilton said.

The national Collaborative Summer Library Program will award $250 to the winning team and $100 to the Lafayette Public Library System.

– www.crt.la.gov –

 


 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2011

Contact:

Paulita Chartier
State Library of Louisiana
225.342.9713   
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Jacques Berry
Office of the Lieutenant Governor
225.342.8607
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 


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