The nation’s largest literary festival — Los Angeles Times Festival of Books — took its 19th bow over the weekend, attracting as many as 150,000 people to the event at the University Park Campus.
USC Senior Vice President for University Relations Thomas Sayles and Times publisher and CEO Eddy Hartenstein kicked off the two-day festival April 12, backed by the USC Trojan Marching Band.
“We are really proud to host this festival for the fourth year,” said Sayles. “USC easily serves as home to the festival because the campus pulsates with intellectual energy, curiosity and vitality,” he noted.
This year’s literary lions included Reza Aslan, Aimee Bender, T.C. Boyle, Jackie Collins, Jared Diamond and Barbara Ehrenreich. For younger readers, Eoin Colfer and John Green topped the celebrity author list.
The Keck Medicine of USC Health and Wellness Pavilion had a large presence at the festival, hosting several health-related screenings, including those for skin cancer, sleep apnea, glucose, BMI, blood pressure and oral health.
At a booth hosted by the Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, 7-year-old Jada Sabun of Culver City, Calif., brushed up on her tooth-brushing technique. A book festival veteran, she’s been coming every spring since the age of 3, her proud father said.
Upwards of 500 children and adults got dental screenings over the two-day festival, and hundreds more received referrals and oral hygiene instruction, according to Carlos Eduardo Sanchez ’08, an Ostrow School clinical faculty member.
Throughout the two-day event as many as 1,000 festival-goers received screenings from Keck Medicine health professionals.
Dermatologists from Keck Medicine stepped into private booths to examine suspicious moles and skin lesions. As the mid-morning sun broke through overcast skies, festival-goers snapped up the booth’s complimentary sun-screen samples.
Keck Medicine nursing staff also gave instant glucose tests, took blood pressure readings and adjusted body-mass scales.
At the hand-washing demonstration booth, 500 hand sanitizers were distributed in less than an hour, according to Marie Moser, a nurse and infection instructor at Keck University Hospital.
—By Diane Krieger