McConnell Library receives grant to host The Big Read

The Big Read logo

Radford University's McConnell Library has received a grant of $15,000 to host The Big Read this fall.

A program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), The Big Read strengthens communities through the joy of sharing a good book. Managed by Arts Midwest, this initiative offers grants to support innovative community reading programs designed around a single book.

McConnell Library, one of 75 organizations to receive a grant to host an upcoming Big Read project, has chosen "The Things They Carried" by Tim O'Brien as this year's book. Big Read activities will take place in October-November 2015.

"We selected this title to provide opportunities to create dialogue around critical social and historical issues linked to our country being at war, both past and present," said Lisa Vassady, McConnell Library research help desk coordinator and instruction librarian. "We hope our Big Read programs open a discussion of issues faced by Vietnam veterans, lead to discussion of veterans’ issues today, help the local community understand veterans’ issues, help children and extended family members understand their veterans and provide a forum for veterans and civilians to dialogue."

McConnell Library and Radford University would like to thank key partners for helping to develop The Big Read grant: Glencoe Museum, Montgomery County Public Schools, New River Community College, Radford Public Library and Virginia Tech’s Center for the Study of Rhetoric in Society.

“The Big Read is a powerful example of how the arts can bring communities together and help us to connect with one another," said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. These 75 organizations, including Radford University, are creating valuable opportunities for their communities to share wonderful stories and characters and to have meaningful conversations.”

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of 37 selections from United States and world literature. The 75 selected organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

For more information, please visit The Big Read website.

Jun 2, 2015