There will be a special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Saturday, June 25th at 10:00 am, welcoming the Library of Congress Gateway to Knowledge Traveling Exhibition to New Orleans.  This Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be part of the annual conference for the American Library Association at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center at 900 Convention Center Blvd.  The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony is hosted by the Library of Congress and MRA experiential tours & equipment. In attendance will be: Deanna Marcum, associate librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress; William Jacobs, chief, Interpretive Program Office at the Library of Congress; Katelyn Ramsey Castleberry, executive director, Friends of the New Orleans Public Library; Thomas Robichaux, New Orleans Board of Education representing District 7; Brett A. Bonin, Board of Education Member representing District 3 and Vice President of the Louisiana School Board Association. The Exhibition Area is open to the public with an admission charge of $25.

 The Gateway to Knowledge tour is inspiring new generations to learn and is cultivating new and young patrons for the Library of Congress and, by extension, libraries across the country. The exhibit includes programming especially for teachers and students, providing relevant and engaging learning experiences for lifelong learners.

 The exhibition contains high-quality facsimiles of items such as the 1507 Waldseemüller Map (the first document to use the word “America”), the 1455 Gutenberg Bible, the rough draft of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s hand with edits by Benjamin Franklin, and the 1962 drawings for the comic book that introduced Spider-Man to the world.  

Since its launch in September at the National Book Festival in Washington, DC, the “Gateway to Knowledge” tour has been seen by over 50,000 visitors in 64 communities in 26 states across the Midwest and South. The truck is staffed and driven by two docents well-versed in the Library and its collections and visits schools, libraries, community centers and other public venues.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at

 The exhibit and its national tour are made possible by the generous support of the Rapoport family. Bernie and Audre Rapoport are founding members of the James Madison Council, the Library’s private-sector advisory group.

Mounted within a customized, expandable 18-wheel truck, this 1,000 square foot mobile gallery travels to smaller and rural communities across America—areas that may not be aware of their ability to access the wealth of information in this publicly funded institutionMRA experiential tours & equipment is proud to have been selected, through a vendor review process, to work with the Library of Congress in developing and managing this historic experiential touring exhibit.