The Big Read Blog (Archive)

Report from the Field: Kenosha Public Library (Wisconsin)

Kenosha, Wisconsin

Per Tom Carson, "Dr. Destruction is  a local [Kenosha] celebrity who has a television show about horror movies.   He is a regular user of the library and supports our core values.  He approached us and asked how he could be involved in the The Big Read."

Kenosha Public Library's Big Read of  The Grapes of Wrath doesn't officially launch until February 27, but the library has been plenty busy getting ready to celebrate Steinbeck.  Here's an update from Tom Carson, the library's head of reference services.

We began giving away copies of The Grapes of Wrath on Monday, January 4, and boy, were we surprised by the public?s reaction! More than 450 copies were gone by noon.  We had distribution points spread throughout Kenosha.  Our Friends of the Library were very generous and purchased another 500 copies.  Those copies were snapped up within hours.  The library decided to use donation money to purchase another 250 copies, and those were all gone by yesterday.  Everyone is busy reading the book and getting ready for the official kick-off event on February 27.  If this initial interest carries over into participation in the discussions and programs, this will be the most successful endeavor that the library has ever undertaken to promote and support reading in the community. 

This project has opened our eyes to the power of partnerships. For example, we have partnered with the Kenosha Literacy Council which, in addition to helping ESL students read the book, is using the book with inmates in a local correctional institution to improve their reading, writing, and comprehension skills. Also, our local community cable outlet is promoting The Big Read in a big way.

Visit The Big Read website to learn more about Kenosha Public Library and its calendar of events for The Big Read.

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