Library of Congress National Book Festival 2019

PBS Books is pleased to announce live coverage of the Library of Congress National Book Festival featuring interviews with leading contemporary authors.

Through the generous support of PBS, PBS Books will showcase exclusive live coverage of the 2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Featuring exceptional writers, the festival attracts tens of thousands of book-loving readers every year.

PBS Books will offer the live-stream free of charge to PBS Stations, libraries and other partners nationwide in an effort to make access to star authors a reality for all. The National Book Festival will feature an incredible lineup of writers, including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Raina Telgemeier, Barbara Kingsolver, Joyce Carol Oates, José Andrés, David Brooks, Jon Scieszka and Sophie Blackall.

Hosted by Executive Producer Rich Fahle and Lindsay Ellis from PBS Digital Studios “It’s Lit!” miniseries, the live coverage includes one-on-one interviews with a diverse lineup of authors and poets, presented online at and on Facebook Live from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. ET. The final schedule of PBS Books author interviews is still being finalized.

“Over the last five years, PBS Books has covered the most important book festivals and fairs nationwide. With more than 10 million viewers tuning in, we’re excited to share the diversity and depth of these talented writers and inspire a generation of readers,” said Rich Fahle.

“We hope these interviews will provide a new lens for viewers and inspire others to learn about unfamiliar authors and pick-up their books. Ultimately, we want to share these amazing voices with the world.”

Heather-Marie Montilla, PBS Books Library Bureau Chief, also shared her excitement about the upcoming National Book Festival. “When we go to book fairs and capture special author insights during interviews, we are able to create an ever-growing archive of videos about the writers and their latest books. Libraries can use the videos to promote the arrival of a new book on social media, to spark discussion in a book club prior to reading the book or just to inspire someone to read the book, among many other things. With so many fabulous authors attending the festival this year, it is going to be another fabulous event!”    

PBS Books was founded on the basis that PBS viewers love to read. For every inspiring and educational PBS program, there is a wealth of related books. PBS Books seeks to connect viewers to the books that will allow them to further engage with any given topic and encourage deeper learning and enjoyment. 

As part of its coverage of the National Book Festival, PBS Books will include information about books related to upcoming fall programming, including the 16-hour documentary series, “Country Music” by Ken Burns.

PBS Books’ exclusive interviews with authors from previous major book fairs and festivals around the country are available for on-demand viewing in the PBS Books video archives.


PBS Books is a multi-platform initiative celebrating the love of reading. Through daily social and digital engagement and live coverage of important literary events across the country, PBS Books celebrates books and writers and works to foster a passion for reading among public media viewers and listeners.  Our vision is to create a community of people engaged in unique book-related experiences that spark their curiosity and encourage a lifelong love of reading and learning.


The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event bringing together best-selling authors and thousands of book fans for author talks, panel discussions, book signings and other activities. Since its founding in 2001, the National Book Festival has become one of the preeminent literary events in the United States.

The festival was created by Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington at the suggestion of Mrs. Bush, who had previously created the Texas Book Festival. The first National Book Festival was held on Sept. 8, 2001. Mrs. Bush served as the honorary chair of the festival through 2008.

The festival is funded by private donors and corporate sponsors who share the Library’s commitment to reading and literacy. Since 2010, National Book Festival Board Co-Chairman David M. Rubenstein has been the festival’s lead benefactor.