The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of only 75 not-for-profits  to receive a $5,000 grant to participate in THE BIG READ. The book selected by JMRL is The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.   Programming for THE BIG READ  will be held during March and April 2011.

This will be the 5th year that the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has  participated in THE BIG READ.  Past books that have been read as part of this program are The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Their Eyes Were Watching God, and A Lesson Before Dying. JMRL will be hosting free community programs and discussions about the book and other interesting programs at all branch libraries and other locations throughout the region.  Program brochures and Reader’s Guides will be available early next year at all branch libraries.

Grants  from the NEA  are to host a BIG READ  project between September 2010 and June 2011. THE Big Read brings communities together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from United States and world literature. The National Endowment for the Arts launched THE BIG READ after a  survey in 2004 showed a decline in the reading of literature. Less than half of American adults read literature, according to the report. Since the 2006 pilot program with ten participating organizations, the NEA, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and in cooperation with Arts Midwest, has given more than 800 grants to support local BIG READ  projects.

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