Following the goal of the Library of Congress that established the state Centers for the Book in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries, the New Jersey Center for the Book has had as its mission "to celebrate books, reading, libraries, and the diverse literary heritage of New Jersey." It carries out that important mission through annual programs, special programs, and awards that recognize excellence in some aspect of the Center’s literacy goals. It partners with the Library of Congress, public libraries, schools, institutions, associations, and individuals in a variety of literacy programs in all disciplines and forms, in print and digital.
Letters About Literature is a Library of Congress State-Wide National Reading/Writing Competition for students in grades 4-12 that is a collaboration with the Center for the Book in each state. Each year the NJCB receives participation from over 4,000 young people in New Jersey schools. An annual reception is held to present the Governor’s Certificates to honor each year’s 75 finalists and their teachers from New Jersey schools. New Jersey is proud to have had national winners for several years, including a national first place winner!
The Literary Lion Award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to literacy, reading, and the print culture in the State of New Jersey. To find out more about current Literacy events or previous events, click the button below.
New Jersey Center for the Book mounts special programs over the course of the year to celebrate state-wide or national anniversaries or events, or on topics of general interest that are opportunities to engage the broader community in literacy-related activities in a variety of disciplines.