The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Reading Between the Lines: A Q&A with Massanutten Regional Library

Harrisonburg, VA

Massanutten Regional Library?s Roaring 20?s Ball featured live music, dance demonstrations, and a fashion show. Photo courtesy of Massanutten Regional Library

For the past four years, the Massanutten Regional Library has participated in The Big Read, bringing books ranging from To Kill a Mockingbird to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer to residents in Virginia?s Shenandoah Valley. For this year?s Big Read, Massanutten turned to the Jazz Age and F. Scott Fitzgerald?s The Great Gatsby.

Michelle Horton, Community Relations Manager for the library, describes The Big Read as ?among the single most effective tools available to libraries today to promote a multi-generational and cross-cultural love of literature throughout the United States.? Read on for more of my interview with Michelle Horton.

NEA: This is Massanutten Regional Library?s fourth year participating in The Big Read. What is it about this program that makes you want to return to it year after year?

MICHELLE HORTON: Our patrons love The Big Read! Without the grant support from the NEA, Massanutten Regional Library would not have the resources to offer our community a reading program on nearly this large a scale or of such a professional caliber.

NEA: What was your favorite Big Read event this year?

HORTON: My favorite event by far was our Roaring 20?s Ball at a local retirement community. We brought in residents from two other nearby retirement communities and presented a fantastic event complete with a 20?s fashion show, dance demonstrations, and live jazz music! We had more than 80 senior citizens attend and they had a wonderful time. The feedback was phenomenal!

NEA: What has been the biggest surprise from your experience with The Big Read?

HORTON: The Charleston is really not as difficult as it looks!!

To learn more about The Great Gatsby, visit The Big Read website.

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