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Library to hold town hall meeting for ‘Big Read’

Libraries across Alabama are preparing for “The Big Read” that is coming in 2010.

“The Big Read” is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture.

“Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America,” a 2004 report by the National Endowment for the Arts, found that not only is literary reading in America declining rapidly among all groups, but that the rate of decline has accelerated, especially among the young.

The concerned citizen in search of good news about American literary culture would study the pages of this report in vain.

“The Big Read” aims to address this crisis squarely and effectively. It provides citizens with the opportunity to read and discuss a single book within their communities.

The Demopolis Public Library, Marengo County Library and Marengo County Bookmobile will be participating in The Big Read. Each community event lasts one month and includes a kickoff event to launch the program locally; major events devoted specifically to the book (panel discussions, author reading, and the like); events using the book as a point of departure (film screenings, theatrical readings, and so forth); and book discussions in diverse locations and aimed at a wide range of audiences.

The library is having a town hall meeting at Rooster Hall on March 24 and March 26 at 6 p.m. to discuss “The Big Read” with the community. Partnerships are vital to this statewide and local program.

We need help from the Friends of the Library, Chamber of Commerce, local businesses, local banks, local clubs and organizations, local book clubs, local performers, student organizations, educators and the board of education, local media, church groups and theater groups.

The library needs the people of Demopolis to help make this community event a huge success.

For more information, call the Demopolis Library at 289-1595.