As the third annual Mississippi Book Festival draws near (only one week to go!), we’re gearing up for a great time. One event we’re especially looking forward to actually occurs pre-Festival. Representative Gregg Harper, who is currently serving his fifth term in the U.S. House, will visit the Mississippi Library Commission the day before the Festival along with the Librarian of Congress, Dr. Carla Hayden. While we always welcome the chance to rub shoulders with our lawmakers from Mississippi (everyone loves Library Day at the Capitol!), this visit from our Congressman promises to be especially rewarding.

Rep. Harper is the Chairman of the Joint Committee of the Library, which has oversight of Library of Congress operations. Fun fact: the committee is the oldest continuing joint committee of the US Congress! While he’s here, the congressman will present a donation of books from the Library of Congress Surplus Book Program. These books will enhance both MLC’s collection and those of public libraries across Mississippi. After the presentation, Mississippi librarians will have a special Q&A session with Dr. Hayden.

On the day of the actual Festival, there are even more Harper appearances to look forward to. Repeating his role in kicking off the initial Mississippi Book Festival in 2015, the congressman will join Dr. Carla Hayden at 9 AM in kicking off the Festival by unveiling the new Mississippi Literary Map. The map was commissioned by the Mississippi Library Commission and the Mississippi Center for the Book. (If you can’t make it, you can watch it here on C-SPAN.) Directly after the unveiling, Harper and Hayden will collaborate in a unique discussion. (If you can’t make it, you can watch it here on C-SPAN.)

During the inaugural Festival in 2015, Rep. Harper brought along several programs from the Library of Congress, like the American Folklife Center, the Educational Outreach Division, and the Veterans History Project. On behalf of the latter project, he conducted a fascinating live interview with WWII soldier, POW, and veteran Earl Derrington.

Congressman Harper said of the first Mississippi Book Festival, “This will be an outstanding event, and something that folks of all ages and interests will not want to miss.” We just know that the same thing will hold true for the third annual Festival on August 19!

This is a post from the Mississippi Library Commission. The original post can be viewed here: http://mlcref.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-literary-gregg-harper.html