Mission and History

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Mission: 
The Texas Book Festival connects authors and readers through experiences that celebrate the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination.

Vision:  To inspire Texans of all ages to love reading.

The Texas Book Festival (TBF) began with a simple purpose: to bring authors and readers together in a celebration of literature and literacy. Founded in 1995 by Laura Bush (a former librarian and then First Lady of Texas), Mary Margaret Farabee, and a dedicated group of volunteers, the TBF set out to honor Texas authors, promote the joys of reading, and benefit the state’s public libraries. The first Festival took place in November 1996 and has grown into one of the nation’s premier annual literary events, featuring 275+ authors of the year’s best books and drawing more than 40,000 book lovers of all ages.

Held each fall in and around the majestic State Capitol in downtown Austin, the Festival features a rich variety of literary readings and panels, book signings, cooking demonstrations, live music, local food trucks, a YA HQ, children’s activities, and exhibiting vendors from across the state and country. While remaining an important showcase for Texas authors, the Texas Book Festival hosts writers from all over the world and is honored to have a national reputation as one of the most prestigious and longest running book festivals in the country.

More than 50 volunteer committee chairs and 1000 volunteers help run the annual Festival, the First Edition Literary Gala, and literary events throughout the year and across the state. The TBF partners with other non-profits, publications, media, businesses, schools and individuals to present quality programming to Texans. The Texas Book Festival, a Texas nonprofit corporation, is a 501(c) (3) organization. Since its founding, the TBF has donated more than $2.8 million to Texas public libraries.

The TBF is proud to present the Festival free of charge, thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors, foundations, and individuals who believe in the power of reading to change lives.

 

Learn more about our full portfolio of Texas Book Festival Outreach Programs.