Jefferson-Madison Regional Library Credit: Jefferson-Madison Regional Library

The Jefferson-Madison Regional Library has been selected by the National Endowment for the Arts to receive a $7,750 grant to participate in the Big Read for the tenth consecutive year. JMRL was one of only 75 non-profits to receive this year’s grant. The book chosen by JMRL for the 2016 Big Read is “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” by Carson McCullers.

The Big Read takes place throughout the month of March each year. Past books that have been chosen by JMRL for the Big Read include “The Namesake,” “True Grit,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Joy Luck Club,” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.” JMRL will host free community events and discussions about the book at all branch libraries and other locations throughout the region. This year’s events will consist of themes such as southern gothic literature, death culture, and mental illness. Big Read brochures will be available at the beginning of February 2016 at all branch libraries.

The National Endowment for the Arts launched the Big Read after a survey in 2004 showed a decline in the reading of literature. Less than half of American adults read literature, according to the report. The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest. The Big Read is also supported by the Art and Jane Hess Fund of the Library Endowment.

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