The National Book Festival is moving off the National Mall to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, the Library of Congress announced today. This year’s festival, scheduled for Aug. 30, will be the first time the event has been held indoors since it debuted inside the Library of Congress in 2001.
Library of Congress spokesperson Jennifer Gavin says the library spent several months working with the National Park Service in order to keep the festival on the Mall, but new NPS regulations ultimately pushed the festival off the green. “There were some higher costs involved,” Gavin says, declining to elaborate on specific expenditures. “We decided that this was the best thing to do in the name of the festivalgoers.” Update, 3:48 p.m.: National Mall spokesperson Carol Johnson clarifies that the costs would have covered decking that is necessary to safeguard the Mall’s recently rehabilitated turf. Former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced new federal guidelines for protection of the National Mall in January 2013.
The event will still be free for the public, and in its new indoor location, it will be able to continue into the night. It’s also introduced new events, including an “International Pavilion” that will highlight authors from other countries, as well as film screenings that were previously tough to do in the outdoor, daytime-only venue. The festival plans to spotlight films adapted from books.
The festival is still eight months away, of course, so there’s no firm schedule yet, and Gavin says the Library of Congress is still figuring out what new ideas and configurations it can pull off in the convention center. But in addition to the potential for a late-night literary bender (bookanalia?), here’s another thing National Book Festival attendees can look forward to this year: no mud.
Photo by Flickr user Philip Bump used under a Creative Commons license.