When the Public Broadcasting System, which KET is our local affiliate, began a program in May of this year, the Rowan County Public Library decided to jump on board of the Great American Read train!
The Great American Read was an eight-part series that explored the power of reading and highlighted America’s 100 best-loved novels (as chosen in a national survey). As part of the series, all were encouraged to vote nationwide and choose America’s best-loved book.
If you visit the website of the Great American Read https://www.pbs.org/the-great-american-read/home/ you can read about the series and view (by streaming) all of the episodes. There is also a list of the 100 books in the order they were voted upon nationwide. To Kill a Mockingbird was voted as the number one best-loved book!
Little did we know at RCPL when we started planning the events, that we would be recognized in the finale which was televised on October 23rd. But yes, indeed, Morehead made the map!
The Rowan County Public Library decided to participate by having a kick-off program prior to the first PBS episode on September 11th. We then held Monday Lunch Bunch programs every Monday for the next six weeks prior to the Tuesday PBS episode. Food was provided by the RCPL Friends of the Library and we discussed every genre and more! It was a two-hour long program for anyone to drop in at their leisure, but many had such a good time they stayed for the whole two hours.
After our kick-off program on Friday, September 7th, a producer from PBS contacted our Community Relations Coordinator, Dawn Sargent, because they had viewed our Instagram post with their hashtag #GreatReadPBS. The producer asked Dawn to send her everything that we were doing and that we may be included in the finale!
When the finale was telecast on October 23rd on PBS, they did highlight two libraries and their programs, but they also highlighted public libraries across the United States that had participated on a national map and we made the map!
If you want to see that part of the finale episode it is at the 13:55 mark, with the map with Morehead, KY pinned at the 14:28 mark. Of course, you will enjoy it so much more if you watch the whole episode!
This program and series has spurned interest in starting book discussion groups in the future and the library is looking forward to getting the ball rolling for their patrons. Also, to help encourage the purpose of the Great American Read, RCPL is offering for any patron to stop by and fill out a checklist of the 100 books they have read to receive a free book. Stop by and ask at the circulation desk for details between now and December 31st!
Stay up to date on all of our events and programs:
- by visiting our website at rowancountylibrary.org
- download our app RCPL2GO
- follow us on Facebook, Rowan County Public Library
- follow us @RowanPublicLib on twitter
- follow us rowancountylib on Instagram
Julie Carroll, Assistant Director, who coordinated the programs for the Great American Read would like for all residents of Rowan County to know what a treasure awaits at YOUR public library. Yes, we made the national map, but remember we are right in your backyard! Come see us and don’t miss out!
Article by Julie Grannis Carroll
Graphics by Dawn Sargent