Starting in 1984, the Center for the Book in the Library began to establish affiliate centers in the 50 states. Today, there is a State Center for the Book in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These Center for the Book affiliates carry out the national Center's mission in their local areas, sponsor programs that highlight their area's literary heritage and call attention to the importance of books, reading, literacy and libraries. Affiliates must submit an application to become part of -- and retain -- their Center for the Book status, which is renewable for a three-year period. The Center for the Book has established Guidelines for establishing affiliates and for programming activities. The State Centers gather annually at the Library of Congress for an Idea Exchange Day.
The Alaska Center for the Book was founded in 1991 to stimulate public interest in literacy throughout Alaska through the spoken and written word.
In May, 2000 the Alaska Center for the Book won the Boorstin State Award. When presenting the award, Library of Congress Center for the Book Director John Y. Cole cited the success of Alaska's annual Writing Rendezvous and other cooperative projects, "all accomplished with an all-volunteer staff."
The Boorstin Awards are supported by a gift from Librarian of Congress Emeritus Daniel J. Boorstin and his wife, Ruth. Dr. Boorstin established the national Center for the Book in 1977 to stimulate public interest in books, reading, and libraries.