Call it batting 1.000, going one-for-one from the line, or whatever metaphor suits you best – the Sonoma County Free Bookmobile is ecstatic to announce that it is a proud recipient of a mini-grant from The Big Read program! The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Sonoma County is one of hundreds of communities across the United States that will participate in The Big Read this year, in which adults and teens will be invited to join together to read Mark Twain’s classic, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
More specifically, the Bookmobile will, beginning in March, include a “Mark Twain Exchange” section in its trailer. We will invite members of the public to donate works by Mark Twain, including Tom Sawyer, and we’ll encourage visitors to the Bookmobile to check out this featured author. We will also include reader’s guides and audio guides in this section. So now the question to ask yourself is, what Mark Twain material do you have that others might appreciate? Our donation centers are standing by, and you can always come bring us books at our scheduled give-away events as well.
This is the first grant we have applied for so it is a grand morale boost to have been chosen for an award. In fact we are slated to receive almost triple what we asked for, in recognition of what we can provide in support of the goals of The Big Read. We need to extend special thanks to Melissa Kelley of the Sonoma County Literary Arts Guild for encouraging us to pursue this grant. Melissa has also been a great help in connecting us with other like-minded folks around the county, and you’ll be hearing more about her support of the Bookmobile soon.
More details about The Big Read and examples of Big Read projects can be found at www.neabigread.org or www.bigreadsonoma.com. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Locally, The Big Read is organized by Public Broadcaster KRCB FM Radio 91 and Television Channel 22.