Athens-Clarke County Library receives “The Great American Read” programming grants from ALA and PBS

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The Athens-Clarke County Library will receive a grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and PBS to host programs related to 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 honored to be one of a few libraries nationwide to be awarded this grant from the American Library Association and PBS,” said Athens Regional Library System Executive Director Valerie Bell. “ We look forward to hosting some exciting events around The Great American Read series. I would like to personally invite all of the Athens community to participate in this engaging literary event.”

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

While the PBS show kicks off later this month, the library’s programs will begin in August. Each of the library’s five book clubs will lead discussions based on titles featured on The Great American Read list. Later in the fall, the library will partner with local nonprofit Rabbit Box for a special storytelling event associated with the series.

In addition to the grant money, the 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 (Black Dog & Leventhal, August 21, 2018); and other resources.

Premiering May 22 on PBS, 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.

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.

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