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Awards and Programs

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In-house Initiatives

A Baker's Dozen

Every year since 2004, we've named thirteen of the best picture books to support family literacy and to create a love of books and reading with preschool children.

Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award

The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award is annually presented to an American poet or anthologist for the most outstanding new book of children’s poetry published in the previous year.

Letters About Literature

Letters About Literature was a nationwide writing contest that invited 4-12th-graders to write letters to authors (living or dead) explaining how the author’s work affected them. The program concluded in 2018-2019 in its 27th year.

Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize

The Lynd Ward Graphic Novel Prize is presented annually to the best graphic novel, fiction or non-fiction, published in the previous calendar year by a living U.S. or Canadian citizen or resident.


2020 Schlow Library Podcast #104: King of King Court & the Pennsylvania Center for the Book

Public Poetry Project

Four poets with connections to PA are selected annually for the Public Poetry Project to have their poems featured on posters that are distributed for free to be displayed in public places so that it might become part of the daily lives of a greater number of people.

Poems from Life with Juniper Village

Poems from Life annually pairs local poets with residents of the local Juniper Village Senior Living at Brookline to share and celebrate the lives of Juniper residents with the creation and public reading of original, individualized poems.


2020 Schlow Library Podcast #86: Celebrating National Poetry Month with the PA Center for the Book

Words of Art

Word of Art is an audio collection of ekphrastic poetry by Nicole Miyashiro that invites visitors to spend extra time in art spaces, both introspectively and conversationally, and an educational tool for group or self-led workshops.

Wordstruck: Micro Essays on Literature that Redefined You

Wordstruck invites 10-12th graders to describe how a written work has influenced them personally in 350 words or less for a monetary prize.

Library of Congress Initiatives

Great Reads from Great Places

Every year, each Center for the Book state affiliate or state library selects a book to contribute to a list representing the literary heritage of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the US Virgin Islands to be distributed by the Library of Congress during the National Book Festival.

YouTube Video

2020 Title: Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson by Jen Bryant

WPSU BookMark Review

2019 Title: A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, reviewed by Karla M. Schmit

Great Lakes Reads

Great Lakes Reads is a yearly booklist selected by each state or province that borders a Great Lake. 

Route 1 Reads

Route 1 Reads is an annual, themed booklist featuring titles selected by the 16 affiliate East CoastCenters for the Book that represent states that can be traveled by US Route 1.

Co-sponsored Initiatives

Centre County Reads

Centre County community organizations partner up for Centre County Reads to encourage residents to connect with each other and discuss the human condition and current issues by reading the same book.

WPSU BookMark Reviews

2020 Title: Charming Billy by Alice McDermott, reviewed by Michelle Hamme

2019 Title: Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird by Katie Fallon, reviewed by Emily Morrison

2018 Title: Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa, reviewed by Philip Chwistek; also reviewed by Ruth Canagarajah

2017 Title: Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee, reviewed by Bailey Young

2016 Title: Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy by Karen Abbot, reviewed by Adison Godfrey

2014 Title: Packing for Mars by Mary Roach, reviewed by Hannah Burks

Penn State Reads (2013-2018)

Penn State Reads was a university and community wide common reading program.

WPSU BookMark Review

2014 Title: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, reviewed by Sanjana Marikunte; also reviewed by Nicole Miyashiro in PSU Library News.