Monticello library receives ‘Great American Read’ grant

     The Monticello Public Library (MPL) will receive a grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and PBS to host programs around “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love.

     “We are thrilled to receive this grant and hope to gather the community together over these 100 titles and discuss what makes them the ‘100 Great American Reads’ and how they tie into the five overarching themes,” said Library Director Michelle Turnis.

     More than 220 public libraries applied for the $2,000 grants, which will support public programs around the series. MPL was one of just 50 libraries nationwide to be selected.

     The library’s programming for “The Great American Read” will kick off at 6 p.m. on May 22, with a public viewing party for the premiere episode. Refreshments will be served.

     “The Great American Read” will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books, encouraging audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles.

     “We will host three evening book discussions at 6:30 p.m. on June 21, Aug. 16 and Oct. 18,” said Turnis. “The discussions will be divided up using the five key themes: What we do for love, Heroes, Villains & Monsters, Other Worlds, and Who am I? Participants are encouraged to read any book from the category and discuss how the book fits into the theme.”

     MLP is also hosting two guest presenters: Thursday, Sept. 6, with Danuta Hutchins. She will present on “The Butterfly Effect” about growing up in Nazi-occupied Poland for the Monsters & Villains theme.

     On Thursday, Oct. 4, Barbara Lounsberry will present about Mildred Augustine, the Iowa author of the “Nancy Drew” books, for the theme of Heroes.

     In fall 2018, seven new TV episodes will air, featuring appearances by celebrities, athletes, experts, authors and everyday Americans advocating for their favorite book, culminating with a finale that reveals America’s best-loved novel as chosen by the American public.

     In addition to the grant money, MPL will receive a DVD collection of the series with public performance rights; a hardcover copy of the companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books” by PBS (Black Dog & Leventhal, Aug. 21, 2018); and other resources.

     For more information, visit or stop in the library and pick up a list of the titles and the formats that are available.



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