The Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual literary event that brings together best-selling authors, poets and illustrators with thousands of readers for book talks, panel discussions, book signings and other engaging activities. Over the course of its 20-year history, the Festival has become one of the most prominent literary events in the nation. The National Book Festival was founded in 2001 by Laura Bush and then-Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. The first Festival was held Sept. 8, 2001, with Mrs. Bush serving as its honorary chair, a position she held through 2008. Over the years, the Festival has evolved immensely, becoming the nation’s premier literary event.