Press Release -- January 5, 2015


CONTACT: Ellen Flanagan Kenny, Communications Associate, Massachusetts Center for the Book 617-872-3718;

Massachusetts Center for the Book Announces Initiatives for 2015

Massachusetts Center for the Book is looking ahead to 2015 with great anticipation about new and ongoing initiatives to develop life-long readers in the Commonwealth.

More than three thousand Letters About Literature were received from students throughout Massachusetts, and some of these young readers will be welcomed to the State House in the late Spring for the annual program celebration.  Last year, one of our Massachusetts award winners was recognized in the national program and read her letter to an audience at the 2014 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.

The quality and volume of books submitted for the 2015 Massachusetts Book Awards, administered by Mass Center for the Book, is a reminder that our contemporary author community is an accomplished and active component of creative life in the Commonwealth.  These awards, the largest state program in the country, recognize significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects.

This summer, the Center will provide public libraries with promotional materials and reading guides to support the short-listed “Must-Read” titles, and award winners will be announced by the end of August.  All will be featured prominently at Boston Book Festival and National Book Festival.

“Literary place-making,” a new initiative for 2015, will be conducted in collaboration with Mass Library System.  Workshops will provide tools for libraries to leverage their knowledge and resources in efforts at developing literary trails and tourist experiences focused on books and reading.

Collaborating with Simmons College School of Information Science, MCB will be developing an exciting interactive interface for our literary mapping project.  Soon Massachusetts bibliophiles will be able to search for all the literary house museums in Massachusetts, track Henry David Thoreau’s travels through the Commonwealth, or locate the (many!) houses of William Dean Howells (and perhaps identify where Silas Lapham’s fictive house would have been built in the Back Bay).

Drawing on the expertise of youth service librarians from across Massachusetts, Mass Center for the Book is developing a family literacy program around the wonderful books written by Massachusetts authors that present the history and contemporary culture of our commonwealth.  The goal is to link reading, lively conversations and civic engagement in our youngest families.

Massachusetts Center for the Book welcomes visitors to its new website (, at its new administrative office in Boston’s burgeoning Literary District (14 Beacon Street, Suite 501, Boston), or at its Simmons College SLIS office, the base for literary mapping and other interactive initiatives.

The Massachusetts Center for the Book is a public-private partnership, chartered as the Commonwealth affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress.   It is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the General Court, administered by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, and by organizational and in-kind support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Simmons College School of Library and Information Science.