For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development

The Free Library’s Annual Book Festival Brings Literature to Life at a Neighborhood Library Near You

Novelists, journalists, children’s book authors, and more to visit all Free Library locations during National Library Week

PHILADELPHIA, February 25, 2013—This April, the Free Library of Philadelphia is taking its annual Philadelphia Book Festival on the road, with events happening at each of the Library’s 54 locations throughout the city. Previously held only at the Parkway Central Library, the seventh annual Book Festival will now expand to every Free Library location, giving members of all Philadelphia communities the chance to enjoy incredible author events at the neighborhood library they call home. Additionally, special author information and select headlining podcasts will be available on the Library’s website and busiest “location”—

Taking place during National Library week, April 14-20, 2013, the Festival will feature headlining author events in the Parkway Central Library every day as well as special author appearances in every neighborhood library throughout the week. A burst of books and inspiration, the week-long Philadelphia Book Festival embraces literacy, creativity, and the arts with a diverse array of free and ticketed events for all.

Weeknight headline events at Parkway Central Library include*:

Rachel Maddow | Sunday, April 14 – Rachel Maddow is the host of MSNBC’s award-winning The Rachel Maddow Show and the New York Times bestselling author of Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.

Nancy Pearl | Monday, April 15 - Immortalized as an action figure, famed librarian and expert book recommender Nancy Pearl is republishing her most beloved, presently out-of-print books in her new Book Lust Rediscoveries series.

Ken Kalfus and James Salter | Tuesday, April 16 – Ken Kalfus’s novel Equilateral is a sly comedy placed at the cusp of turn-of-the-century Egypt. James Salter’s All That Is celebrates the small tremors and the grand pleasures of being alive.

Andrew Solomon | Wednesday, April 17 - In Far From the Tree, award-winning writer Andrew Solomon tells the profound stories of parents who find profound meaning in learning to deal with their exceptional children.

Baratunde Thurston | Thursday, April 18 - Comedian, author, and self-described vigilante pundit, Baratunde Thurston unpacks the complexities of racial politics and personal identity in his New York Times bestseller, How to Be Black.

Cass Sunstein | Friday, April 19 - The Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Cass Sunstein is the author of more than 35 books and textbooks. In Simpler, Sunstein demonstrates how an understanding of human nature can inform and steer the behavior of businesses, citizens, and governments about a variety of issues.

Cheryl Strayed | Friday, April 19 - A blazing memoir about an adventure born of heartache and the promise of reconstructing a life undone, Cheryl Strayed’s New York Times bestseller Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as the first selection for her rebooted book club.

RISK! Live Show | Saturday, April 20 - RISK! is a live show during which people tell true stories they never thought they'd dare to share. It’s also a wildly popular podcast with 300,000 listeners and more than 6.5 million downloads to date. Presented in conjunction with First Person Arts.

Neighborhood library author events include:

Tom Burgoyne | Monday, April 15 at Holmesburg Library - Now entering his 25th season as the Phillie Phanatic, Tom Burgoyne is the co-author of two books about Phillies baseball: More Than Beards, Bellies and Biceps: The Story of the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies (and the Phillie Phanatic, Too) and Movin' On Up. He has also written 10 children’s books about Philadelphia’s “Phavorite” mascot.

Solomon Jones | Monday, April 15 at Wynnefield Library, Wednesday, April 17 at Charles A. Durham Library, and Thursday April 18 at Overbrook Park Library - An award-winning columnist for Axis Philly, Philadelphia Daily News, and WHYY’s NewsWorks, Solomon Jones is the author of the Essence Magazine bestselling novel The Bridge and is the founder of Words on the Street Literacy Program.

Allison Whittenberg | Tuesday, April 16 at Haddington Library – Allison Whittenberg is the author of acclaimed young adult novels Sweet Thang, Life is Fine, and Tutored.

Lee Fishman | Tuesday, April 16 at Richmond Library and Wednesday, April 17 at Roxborough Library – Lee Fishman’s novel Edge of a Dream is the story of an immigrant couple who flee a devastating civil war only to confront different challenges as they start a new life in the United States.

Mônica Carnesi | Wednesday, April 17 at Blanche A. Nixon/Cobbs Creek Library - Mônica Carnesi’s picture book, Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic, was named a 2013 Gryphon Award Honor Book and was included in several Best of the Year lists, among them The Horn Book Fanfare and the Eric Carle Museum's Picture Books of Distinction of 2012.

Jamar Nicholas | Wednesday, April 17 at Oak Lane Library – Jamar Nicholas is an award-winning Philadelphia-based artist and educator and columnist for DRAW! Magazine.

Kathleen Wainwright | Saturday, April 20 at Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional Library
– Kathleen Wainwright is a dedicated teacher in the School District of Philadelphia and the author of the children’s picture book, Summer in the City. events include:

• Special author information

• Select headlining author podcasts

• Special social networking feeds featuring special fun-facts about authors appearing at the Festival

• Live tweeting from customers about their own Festival experiences by using the hashtag #phillybookfest.

“The Free Library of Philadelphia is committed to bringing direct, focused service straight to our customers in every neighborhood in the city,” said Siobhan A. Reardon, President and Director. “Now that the beloved Book Festival is taking place in each one of our 54 neighborhood libraries, literacy lovers from across the city can easily get in on the fun!"

To find out more about the Philadelphia Book Festival, including a full schedule of events, please visit

*Some authors may move to an off-site venue.

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About the Free Library’s Commitment to Digital Literacy
The Free Library provides unparalleled access to and training for today’s digital world. Boasting 9 million unique annual visits, the Library’s website provides access to more than 80,000 ebooks; 600+ author event podcasts; databases that support language learning, small businesses, homework help, and health information; and daily homework help online. With free Wi-Fi and public computers in its 54 locations, Hot Spot community computer training centers that have welcomed 27,000 visitors since their inception, the roving Techmobile “Hot Spot on wheels,” a digital download splash page and Wi-Fi at the Philadelphia International Airport, and professional digital resource specialists, the Free Library’s digital services have never been greater.

About the Free Library
The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.



Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850