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California Center for the Book wins 2007 national award for innovative reading promotion

Mary Menzel with Ruth Boorstein and attending 2007 winners.
From left to right: Bonnie Matheis, Illinois Center for hte Book; Victoria Bonebakker, Maine Center for the Book; Ruth Boorstein; Mary Menzel, California Center for the Book; Rod Mills, Louisiana Center for the Book.
[Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress]

In April, the California Center for the Book received the 2007 Boorstin Award for innovative reading promotion projects. California was singled-out for its “Book Clubs in a Box” and “Mysterious California” reading promotion programs, and for its concise new public slogan: We help librarians and teachers get California reading. The four other states that won the national award were Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, and Maine. 

National Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole presented California Director Mary Menzel with the award in a Washington D.C. ceremony that included Librarian of Congress James H. Billington, Mamie Bittner, Deputy Director, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and Leslie Burger, President, the American Library Association.

California Director Mary Menzel says of the California Center’s winning strategy, “This year we’ve been concentrating on a few things and marketing them better. Though Book Clubs in a Box are the brainchild of [previous director] Natalie Cole, we’ve fine-tuned the Center’s slogan, our mission statement really, to best show librarians what we can do for them: provide easy-to-use and low cost reading promotion tools.”

Menzel says “Mysterious California,” a “box” program the Center will launch at the California Library Association (CLA) Conference in Long Beach in late October, is built on four California mysteries by California authors: The Art of Detection by Laurie R. King, Southland by Nina Revoyr, Shell Games by Kirk Russell, and Sharp Shooter by Nadia Gordon. The books, according to Menzel, “show how the emotional resonance of California places finds its way into literature - mysteries particularly. We’re really excited that our ‘Mysterious California’ authors will be on a panel in Long Beach.”

California Center for the Book

The California Center for the Book is a nonprofit reading promotion agency that provides services and resources to librarians throughout the state. It develops and supports local and statewide programs that celebrate California's rich literary heritage. The California Center for the Book is supported through Library Services and Technology Act funds administered by the California State Library and is affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It has been housed at UCLA's Department of Information Studies since January 2000.

For more information about the California Center for the Book please contact Mary Menzel, Director, at (310) 206-2464 or email at






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