Tag Archives: Oklahoma Center for the Book

Oklahoma Center for the Book Cancels Two Big Literary Events for 2021

February 26, 2021

Contact: Connie Armstrong • 405-522-3242 Connie.Armstrong@libraries.ok.gov

The Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries is canceling the 2021 Oklahoma Book Award Dinner and Oklahoma Book Festival

(This press release is available for download in Word and PDF formats.)

The Annual Oklahoma Book Award competition continues in 2021 for the 32nd year, but award recipients won’t be picking up their medals at an in-person ceremony this spring. For the second year in a row, the Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) is canceling the awards dinner. Winners will be announced and recognized online. The Center is also canceling the Oklahoma Book Festival, which was planned for the fall.

Connie Armstrong, Executive Director of the Center, said there are too many uncertainties surrounding the Pandemic to move forward with these events.

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The 2020 Oklahoma Book Festival has been Canceled

The 2020 Oklahoma Book Festival, scheduled for November 14, has been cancelled by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (ODL) and festival organizers due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Connie Armstrong, executive director of ODL’s Oklahoma Center for the Book, and Vicki Mohr, administrator of ODL’s Office of Library Development, made the announcement in a joint statement:

“This was a difficult decision but we believe it is in the best interest of Oklahoma book lovers. It is simply too risky to have any type of in-person event right now, even with safety precautions. Additionally, we do not feel a completely virtual book festival would garner enough audience participation to warrant the costs necessary to put on such programming. The pandemic is also making fundraising and partner recruitment more difficult for non-profits and community events at this time. We are disappointed, but remain enthusiastic about the future of the Oklahoma Book Festival program. Please look for information in the coming months on a 2021 festival.”

Headliners, Poetry Readings, and Genre Panels Highlight Successful Book Festival

Veteran Journalist and 60 Minutes Correspondent Steve Pelley shares stories from his book Truth Worth Telling. More than 150 were in the audience to hear Pelley for the festival’s first Headliner session. Honorary Co-Chair Jane Jayroe [inset] recruited Pelley for the festival.

A rainy morning and a day where the wind came sweeping down the plains didn’t stop a record crowd from turning out for the 2nd Oklahoma Book Festival on Saturday, September 21. 

Festival vendor Factor 110 estimates more than 3,000 individuals headed to the Oklahoma City Boathouse District to hear the 100+ presenters from Oklahoma and across the nation as they discussed their latest books—an increase from last year’s estimate of more than 2,500 in attendance. 

Headliners were the big draw, with a total of 427 people attending sessions in the Ida Sutton Williams Headliner Tent to hear presentations on popular current titles, from Scott Pelley’s Truth Worth Telling, to WK Stratton’s book on the movie The Wild Bunch, to Mystery writer Anne’s Hillerman’s latest work, The Tale Teller

Continue reading Headliners, Poetry Readings, and Genre Panels Highlight Successful Book Festival

An Oklahoma Center for the Book Fall Roundup

Oklahoma Center for the Book Logo

Happy New Year! With all of the holidays behind us—and the snow day behind us, and all of the entries in the 2019 Oklahoma Book Awards here or on their way—it’s time to give you that fall roundup of Center for the Book activities that we’ve been intending to do for the past two months.

Our Four-Year DoubleR Author Tour project closed out this fall. Read about the 2018 tour and find out how many have attended the programs since the Reading Roundup launched in 2015. (Hint: It’s a bunch!)

Yeah! We had that Oklahoma Book Festival. It was a blast and we learned a lot. Check out the important stats from this inaugural festival. (Plus, browse photos from the festival.)

In case you missed our salute to Ida Sutton Williams at the Book Festival, here it is. Ida’s daughter Laurie Williams was a major sponsor of the festival, and it was her desire to honor her mother, who dreamed that Oklahoma would have its very own book festival someday. Dreams come true.

Both The Center and its Friends support group—which makes so many of our programs possible—wish you all the best in 2019.


Oklahoma’s Inaugural Book Festival by the Numbers

Costumed characters from Jedi OKC and the 501st Legion added to the fun of the Oklahoma Book Festival. See more photos from the festival.

A rain-soaked Friday, October 19—that almost made planners push the panic button—gave way to a sunny and successful Oklahoma Book Festival on Saturday, October 20, in Oklahoma City’s Boathouse District.

A book festival the state could call its own has long been a dream of Oklahoma’s literary community. Budget cuts that effectively slashed ODL’s number of employees by more than 50% over the past two decades didn’t bode well for the agency and its Oklahoma Center for the Book (OCB) to take on such an endeavor.

But take two determined employees (Vicki Mohr, administrator of ODL’s Office of Library Development, and Connie Armstrong, OCB Director), an agency director willing to use federal LSTA funds to help fund the project (Susan McVey), some influential and generous sponsors and partners, some enthusiastic volunteers, and a host of willing authors and illustrators…well, you get a book festival!

Let’s take a look at the successful event by the numbers…

Continue reading Oklahoma’s Inaugural Book Festival by the Numbers