Congresswoman congratulates UPR on announcement that its Book Center will be Affiliated with the Library of Congress

November 29, 2018
Press Release
The inauguration will feature the United States Poet Laureate, Tracy K. Smith

November 29, 2018- Washington, D.C.- Congresswoman Jenniffer González Colón expressed that she very much welcomes the announcement of the Library of Congress and the Graduate School of Information Sciences and Technology (EGTI) of the UPR on the agreement to establish the Center for the Book of Puerto Rico as an Affiliated Center of the Library of Congress in Puerto Rico, the No. 53 affiliate of the nation.

"I congratulate the School, the faculty and its students for this achievement that reflects the recognition of the quality of work of our university community and is another example of how Puerto Rico is still standing."

According to a statement issued this morning by the Library of Congress, the Center will have its headquarters in the (EGTI) Library in the Río Piedras Campus. It will be inaugurated on January 25, with the visit of Tracy K. Smith, the current Poet Laureate of the United States. The Center will have as its mission the celebration and promotion of the book, the development of learning skills, the cultivation of reading habits among youth and stimulate the study and research of the history and literary heritage of Puerto Rico. It will also be aimed at improving the capacity of professionals in information science and librarianship to promote reading, creativity and innovation.

The director of the Book Center of the Library of Congress, Jon Van Ouderanen, said that among its objectives is "to sponsor activities that promote the rich literary heritage of Puerto Rico." The project director in Puerto Rico, Professor Luisa Vigo-Cepeda, She indicated that her efforts will be directed towards a wide range of activities such as colloquiums of authors, workshops, reading fairs and contests on the creation of books, as well as the creation of both physical and virtual spaces to stimulate creativity and innovation. "It is a great honor that the Puerto Rican Book Center be created at (EGTI) and in our library as an affiliate of the Library of Congress."

The Congresswoman commented that it was time for this relationship to be achieved. "For 120 years we have been linked to the United States and Puerto Ricans have been an integral part of its cultural fabric. Promoting the publication and dissemination of our literary works is a natural part of the Library of Congress's mission. "She indicated that this is an example of how the relationship with federal institutions can help to strengthen culture.

The Book Center was created by Congress as a program within its Library in 1977 to stimulate public interest in reading and literature. It currently has affiliated centers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

Tracy Smith has been a Laureate Poet of the United States since 2017, a title granted by the Library of Congress within its Book Center to prominent authors to promote literature and poetry and who has been occupied in the past by figures of stature by William Carlos Williams and Robert Frost. During Smith's concern, his focus has been to provide greater access to literature in rural communities. Her most recent publication has been as editor of the anthology "American Journal: Fifty Poems for Our Time," of contemporary poets of different generations and backgrounds. He has published four collections of poems including "Life on Mars" (2011), which received the Pulitzer Prize in 2012; "Duende" (2007), who received the James Laughlin awards in 2006 and Essence in 2008; and "The Body's Question" (2003), which received the Cave Canem award. Her chronicle "Ordinary Light" (2015) was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award. With an academic background in African-American literature and studies, Smith currently directs the creative writing program at Princeton University.