The Oklahoma Center for the Book in the Oklahoma Department of Libraries is canceling the 2021 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 the event.
Armstrong said. “It takes months to plan the Oklahoma Book Festival. With so many unknowns, it would be difficult to get commitments from authors to travel in for the festival.”
Armstrong said the Center considered a virtual festival, but the experiences of other virtual book festivals have not been encouraging.
“The 2020 National Book Festival was online, and it attracted less than 10% of their normal attendance,” Armstrong said. “We have to be better stewards of our tax dollars as well as the monetary support offered by our festival partners, including the Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book.”
ODL’s Board voted to reallocate federal library dollars from the festival to other library projects at their February meeting.