WISE — Lonesome Pine Regional Library announced it has received a $9,500 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host the Big Read in Wise, Lee, Scott and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton.
The NEA’s Big Read program is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest.
Lonesome Pine Regional Library is one of 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September and June of next years. Lonesome Pine’s community read will focus on “True Grit” by Charles Portis. Activities will take place in April and May of next year.
“Library trustees and staff are delighted to participate in The Big Read. Above all else, as public librarians, we are people of the book. Our role is to promote reading and lifelong learning,” said Lonesome Pine Regional Library Director Amy Bond.
“With only nine library branches to cover 1,717 square miles, far too many of our area residents live too far from a library. We want all the people in our region to read and to have a public library experience. The Big Read gives us that opportunity to bring the library to the people, and by doing so, to bring reading to the public at large.”
Bond said area residents have been “clamoring for another Big Read experience” since an initial success with the program focusing on “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” in 2011.
“‘True Grit’ presents an opportunity to further explore another piece of Americana as a truly great Western novel that is both entertaining and easy to read,” said Bond. “The themes of character, courage, individualism, and adventure will resonate well across our mountain region. There is much in this fun story that our citizens can relate to and reflect upon, so the novel is expected to have wide appeal.”
The Big Read provides selected communities nationwide the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. The grant funds will enable the 77 organizations to promote and carry out community based reading programs featuring read-a-thons, discussions, lectures, movie screenings and performing arts events.
Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including reader’s, teacher’s, and audio guides that are also available for download on neabigread.org.