The New York Center for the Book at Syracuse University Library has been reauthorized by the Library of Congress to continue through 2010. The New York Center is a state affiliate of the Library of Congress (LC) Center for the Book, which was founded in 1977 as a public-private partnership to “promote books, reading, libraries, and literacy.” Syracuse University Library has been the home to the New York Center since 2002 and collaborates with the LC Center in its annual, nationwide program to encourage reading and writing.
Pamela McLaughlin, Director of Communications and External Relations at Syracuse University Library, was appointed Executive Director of the New York Center in November 2007. She works with an advisory board of librarians and interested others from across the state to develop the Center and its programs. Bart Harloe, University Librarian at St. Lawrence University, is the current chair of the board.
A key activity of the Center for the Book is the annual Letters About Literature contest. One of the Center’s most successful literacy programs for students, the contest invites students to write a letter to an author explaining how their work has changed the way they view themselves or the world. State winners receive a cash prize and gift cards provided by contest sponsor Target Stores. Participation in New York has grown steadily over the last three years, from 350 entries in the 2005-06 school year to over 1,800 entries in 2007-08. This year, two of New York’s first place winners also received honorable mention awards at the national level of the contest. Syracuse University Library underwrites the program and manages the related administrative functions.
Interests of the New York Center include scholarship relating to all aspects of the book, books as artifacts, the aesthetics of books, book arts, book publishing and distribution, and reading for pleasure and enlightenment. For information about the national center’s activities and programs, visit http://www.loc.gov/cfbook. For more information about the New York Center for the Book, see http://nybook.org or contact Pamela McLaughlin at (315) 443-9788 or firstname.lastname@example.org.