Six Kansas communities to read and explore “The Things They Carried” during The Big Read
TOPEKA—The Kansas Humanities Council received a grant of $7,200 to host The Big Read in six Kansas communities: Coffeyville, Harper, La Cygne, Lansing, Manhattan, and Wamego. The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure. The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest. The Kansas Humanities Council is one of 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2014 and June 2015.
The Big Read in Coffeyville, Harper, La Cygne, Lansing, Manhattan, and Wamego will focus on “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien, a novel in stories about a young platoon in the Vietnam War. The Big Read partner libraries include Coffeyvillle Public Library, Harper Public Library, Lansing Community Library, Library District #2 of Linn County (La Cygne), Manhattan Public Library, and Wamego Public Library.
“From the beginning, KHC saw The Big Read as an opportunity to have a statewide conversation about the important and timely topic of veterans and the aftermath of war,” said Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council. “We’re so pleased that Arts Midwest and the National Endowment for the Arts supported our vision to extend The Big Read to six communities and we look forward to Kansans’ rich and lively humanities discussions using Tim O’Brien’s novel as the common text.
La Cygne’s Plans for THE BIG READ are developing with more information in the October Newsletter. We invite everyone who is interested remembering our veterans to join us as we explore the book “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. We have several of his books in the library and several years ago Mr. Sims used some of his writings in his Senior English class and several students encouraged me to get books at the public library. While the story takes place during the Vietnam era, it really relates to the experiences and feelings of any serviceman or woman who has experienced war.
Our kick-off event will be held, September 29th in the Swan Room at 6:30 PM, with a meal and a talk by Dr. Kim Stanley from McPherson College. She will share some from the book and discuss what the Big Read is and we will hand out books to all who are interested in joining in the program. You will have approximately 6 weeks to read the book and we will gather on Tuesday evening, Nov. 10th to discuss the book with Virgil Dean as discussion leader. We will need to have at least one more event during the time and I will include more details in the September newsletter. The book is made up of several short stories, so you can read sections of it, if the whole book becomes a daunting task.
This project is a joint project between library and museum and I just want to remind you that we have 3 displays honoring our veterans from Civil War, WWI, and Vietnam War at the museum. We’d love to have you visit, Monday (10-4) or Thursday (10-4) at museum.