Monday, October 19, 2009

Seventh Annual Louisiana Book Festival

Legions of book lovers came together Saturday to discuss and promote literature at the seventh annual Louisiana Book Festival.Engaged festival-goers and 190 authors participated in panel discussions and conversations in the chambers and committee rooms of the Louisiana Capitol Building, a part of the festival that makes it unique, said Rebecca Hamilton, assistant secretary for the office of the state library.

Tim Gautreaux, the Morgan City native received the 2009 Louisiana Writer Award.

About 500 volunteers, many of whom are associated with the University’s School of Library and Information Science, put on the festival and keep events working.Students in the LIS program organize a group to volunteer at the festival every year, said Beth Paskoff, dean of the School of Library and Information Science.“Students work in many different areas of the festival,” Paskoff said. “It gives them an opportunity to see what kinds of things they may be doing in the future and meet people who may be their colleagues someday.”Suzanne Stauffer, assistant LIS professor, said the festival’s central location at the Capitol, state museum and state library adds another meaningful layer to the event.“I don’t know of any other capital where you can have this type of cultural festival literally in the middle of state government,” Stauffer said.