In 2000, the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities in the College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University was selected as the home for the newly formed Alabama Center for the Book, a state affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.
Under the sponsorship of the College of Liberal Arts, the Alabama Center for the Book (ACFTB) grew and thrived as a partnership of individuals, agencies, and organizations that support and foster books and reading. Collaborations with communities, libraries, and schools during the next decade resulted in substantive programs for Alabamians, especially K-12 students, including Alabama Gets Caught Reading, Letters About Literature, River of Words, Alabama Voices, and This Goodly Land.
ACFTB coordinated the first Alabama Book Festival in 2006, an event that brought together readers and writers from all corners of the state. The festival has become a much-anticipated annual celebration of books and reading. Visit the Alabama Book Festival website for more information.
Alabama Center for the Book Moves to University of Alabama Libraries
The Alabama Center for the Book has a new home, moving to the University of Alabama Libraries from the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities at Auburn University.
"The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress looks forward to continued support for its affiliate center in Alabama in its new location," said John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. "Jay Lamar at Auburn has done an extraordinary job as director of the center. We look forward to working with new director Louis Pitschmann."
Louis A. Pitschmann, dean of libraries at the University of Alabama, and Jay Lamar, director of the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for Arts & Humanities at Auburn University, began an extended planning process in 2009 to ensure a seamless transfer of responsibilities and continuation of the center’s successful programs.
Pitschmann praised the programs begun by Lamar and her staff: "Over the past decade Jay and her colleagues at Auburn established a strong center with a number of important and successful outreach services to the state. We will continue to promote the Letters About Literature essay contest and will seek partners to continue other programs for which the center has become known. Our goal is to promote the national Center for the Book’s programs to advance literacy and reading as well as promote appreciation of regional writers."
The Alabama Center for the Book was established in 2000 at Auburn University as the state affiliate. While at Auburn, the center has partnered with the Alabama Library Association, the Alabama Public Library Service, the Alabama Writers’ Forum and other organizations to promote reading, literacy and other book-related activities in Alabama.
"After almost a decade at Auburn University, the Alabama Center for the Book is poised to grow and thrive at the University of Alabama Libraries and in the experienced hands of Dr. Pitschmann," Lamar said. "I am confident that the University of Alabama Libraries will continue to make the Alabama Center for the Book an entity that serves the state and draws our attention not only to the value of books and reading but also to Alabama’s own rich literary culture. I am also delighted that the move will provide a foundation for future collaboration between our two universities."