Dallas Central Library hosts annual book festival

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Over 2000 people joined together to encourage literacy and reading in the community at the Dallas International Book Festival.

The Dallas Central Library invited seven influential authors and journalists to speak at the Dallas International Book Festival on April 7. The annual festival encourages reading, writing and overall literacy among the Dallas community.

Panels were held all day throughout the library, including a discussion titled, “Debunking the Myths: How to get Published and Teaching Social Justice Through Children’s Books.”

“Kids who read or are read to more have way better outcomes in terms of quality of life and happiness, so really, reading is a matter of life or death,” said Jesse Andrews, author of the bestselling novel “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.”

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Some of the authors promoted their recently-released or soon-to-be-released novels at the festival as a stop in a book tour. Half Price Books sold copies of novels written by the authors at the festival for book signings.

“Imagination is everything for little kids,” Tessa Meisheid, New York publicist said. “Anything can be a book if you want it to be. Comic books can even be counted as reading because you spend time analyzing it.”

One author invited to the festival, Mariko Tamaki, writes for Marvel and DC Comics.

“As a planning committee, we pulled together a list of authors we felt could connect with our library patrons,” Ronnie Jessie, event coordinator, said.

Other authors invited to the event included Kara Bietz, Kayla Cagan, Hillary Jordan, Daniel Kalder, Lisa Wingate and Laura Geringer Bass.

“I have the privilege of working with multiple teams including library staff, community partners/sponsors and media to pull together an event that brings people from all walks of life together to celebrate the joy and importance of reading,” Jessie said.

With the goal of increasing literacy in the Dallas community, the Dallas Central Library reported that in 2016, 6.9 million people visited the library in person and online.

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