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

Great American Read logo

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.

Patrons of the Talking Book program can also participate by reading books available through GLASS (Georgia Libraries for Statewide Accessible Services.) GLASS provides digital players and recorded books to those who are unable to read printed material due to a visual or physical issue. Talking Books users can also access an iOS or Android application to download books directly, BARD (Braille and Audio Reading Download). Several of the books are offered in English and Spanish. All available titles on the list include catalog numbers. Check out old favorites and new reads and participate!

The Cartoon Show

The Cartoon Show, image of a two-headed alien reading a comic

July 15 - September 15, 2018
In the Quiet Gallery

The library is proud to present an exhibition of Athens-based cartoon artists in the Quiet Gallery from July 15 to September 15. Alex Burns, Patrick Dean, David Mack, Scott Stripling, Devlin Thompson, Klon Waldrip, and Joey Weiser will be in the show.

Alex Burns studied art at the University of Georgia and Cranbrook Academy of Art. He has been a graphic designer in Atlanta and Athens since 1980, and was the editorial page cartoonist for Creative Loafing for 18 years.

Patrick Dean graduated from UGA with a BFA in Graphic Design. His comics and illustrations appeared weekly in Athens' Flagpole Magazine for a decade and have been published in Legal Action Comics, Typhon, The Comic Eye, Vice Magazine, and The Oxford American Magazine.

Abby Kacen is an illustration artist from Chicago now residing in Athens, GA after studying drawing and animation at the University of Georgia. Inspired by punk rock, tattoos, cute cats and bright colors with illustrations that try to portray just how weird everyday life can be.

Missy Kulik is an illustrator, cartoonist, zine maker, artist, and crafter. She started making comics in grade school, and her first zines were self published in 1990. Her comic called Tofu Baby appears in the Flagpole each week since 2006 and is popular with children and adults.

David Mack spends most of his time drawing and making things. His illustrations and comics have been featured in various publications; Mack has enriched Flagpole’s pages with his weekly take on life in Athens. Now, David has collected these comics into a fat little book entitled ATHENS, GA.

Scott Stripling is a self-taught artist, illustrator, and cartoonist living currently in Athens, Georgia. Beyond the work he publishes as Shoot The Moon Comics, his work can be seen in Gigantic Sequins, Hobart, The Atomic Elbow, and elsewhere.

Devlin Thompson is a cartoonist, and comic pusher, perhaps best known for being the proprietor of Bizarro Wuxtry at Clayton & College in downtown Athens, and for his appearance in HATE #15. Married w/two dogs. No tattoos.

Klon Waldrip has lived in Athens since the ’80s. During the day he maps the stormwater infrastructure of Conyers; At night he writes about film and art for Diaboliquemagazine.com. Klon publishes a video store-themed zine called Late List, and is a featured artist in Printsploitation magazine.

Joey Weiser is the author of the Eisner Award-nominated Mermin graphic novel series from Oni Press. His comics have appeared in several anthologies including SpongeBob Comics, and the award-winning Flight series. His first graphic novel, The Ride Home, was published in 2007 by AdHouse Books. He is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Athens-Clarke County Library at (706) 613-3650. The library is located at 2025 Baxter Street, Athens.

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