Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

‘Great American Read’ coming to Cook library

Jodi Summit
Posted 5/16/18

COOK- Cook Public Library will have lots of fun programming over the summer after receiving a grant from the American Library Association and PBS. Cook Library will be hosting library programs around …

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‘Great American Read’ coming to Cook library

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COOK- Cook Public Library will have lots of fun programming over the summer after receiving a grant from the American Library Association and PBS. Cook Library will be hosting library programs around “The Great American Read.” This new, eight-part television series is designed to celebrate the joy of reading and books Americans love, and will let readers vote on their favorite book from a list compiled of 100 favorite novels.

More than 220 public libraries across the nation applied for the $2,000 grants, that will support public programs around the series. Cook Public Library was one of just 50 libraries nationwide to be selected.

“This grant will allow us to host programs and events throughout the summer and purchase books for our collection,” said Cook Library Director Crystal Phillips. “We are honored to be the only library in Minnesota to receive this grant.”

Phillips said she is busy scheduling programs, with June 1 set to be the kickoff event, Book Madness. There will be a reception at the library and they will explain how the program will work. There will be a book-related movie showing at the Comet Theater in the fall, and pre-showings of the television show at the library through the summer. The Friends of the Library will put together a program, teens will do a book heroes-themed program, and there will be a final event in September. There will also be voting conducted thoughout the summer to choose a single novel for the community to read in the winter. The library will have at least one copy of every novel on the top 100 list available.

Phillips said the list is diverse and will interest both kids and adults. “It will be interesting to see how it plays out.” Some of Phillip’s favorites, “Pride and Prejudice” and “Great Expectations” made the list.

“I don’t know why our library was chosen; there are lots of big libraries that received the grant, too. It was very exciting when I received the email.”

In addition to the grant money, Cook Public Library 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 ,and other resources.

“The Great American Read” will be hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira and 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.

The two-hour launch episode will kick off a summer of reading and voting. In fall 2018, seven new 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.

The series will premiere at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22 on PBS stations with a two-hour launch, kicking off a summer of reading and voting and will introduce viewers to the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels selected through a demographically representative national survey conducted by YouGov. The series will also feature interviews with celebrities, authors, super fans, and everyday Americans discussing the way particular books have influenced them and their significance in American popular culture.

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