PARKERSBURG - The local libraries and West Virginia University at Parkersburg are working together on a "Big Read" project to raise awareness of literature and encourage reading.
WVU-Parkersburg received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host The Big Read project throughout the Mid-Ohio Valley, said college spokesman Katie Wootton.
The college is partnering with the Parkersburg-Wood County Public Library system, Vienna Public Library, Jackson County Public Library, Ritchie County Public Library, Roane County Public Library, Pleasants County Public Library, Sistersville Public Library and Dora B. Woodyard Memorial Library in Elizabeth to hold book discussions and other events throughout the region.
Professor H.G. Young, left, and Stephen Hupp, library director at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, sort through materials for “The Big Read” project.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday at the Parkersburg-Wood County Public Library on Emerson Avenue and continues from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday at WVU-Parkersburg.
The library program will feature a bonfire with a mock book burning along with roasting hot dogs and smores. Banned and challenged books will be read over a bullhorn.
WVU-Parkersburg will kick off the series from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday at the college's Acitivities Center with book giveaways and other activities.
Upcoming "Big Read"?Events
*?A special exhibit for Banned Book Week in the WVU-P college library from Sept. 23-27.
*?Aquila Theater performing "Fahrenheit 451" at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 in the WVU-Parkersburg College Activities Center followed by a post-production discussion of the book.
*?Screenings of the 1966 Francois Truffaut film based on the book at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Oct. 12 with a book discussion at 4 p.m. at the Parkersburg/Wood County Public Library.
*?Robert M. Woods, Great Books professor at Faulkner University and a Ray Bradbury scholar, will be in residence at WVU-Parkersburg on Oct. 16-17 for book discussions.
*?For a complete list of events visit The Big Read website at http://neabigread.org/
The Big Read project is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. As part of the kick-off, individuals throughout the region are invited to read and discuss Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451."
The book is a tale of a bleak future where literature and knowledge are on the edge of extinction. Although written 60 years ago by Bradbury, an acclaimed science fiction writer, the issues raised in the book - censorship, the effects of technology on society and literature, and the means by which knowledge is gained - continue to be very real concerns today. Considered a work of science fiction when first published, "Fahrenheit 451" has achieved the rare distinction of being both a literary classic and a perennial bestseller.
Those attending Friday's program at the Wood County Library and other upcoming programs will receive copies of "Fahrenheit 451," a reader's guide, a bookmark and an invitation to book discussions and other special events.