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The sixth annual Springfield-Greene County “Big Read,” a celebration of reading for pleasure, will take place throughout the month of April. KSMU’s Melanie Foehrweiser spoke to one of the co-chairs of the Big Read Committee and has this report.
One book, one community; it’s a slogan that the library district takes to heart for its Big Read. Brentwood Branch Manager and Co-Chair of the Big Read Committee, Kim Flores, says that while it’s about reading, it’s also about community involvement.
“We do that by encouraging everyone to read and discuss the same book. And we have local folks involved, businesses, other not for profit organizations. So we try to make it a real community-wide event," says Flores.
Flores and her committee chose “The Maltese Falcon” by Dashiell Hammett as their Big Read book this year.
“The committee just talked about which ones [books] we thought leant themselves to wonderful programming, and book discussions, and lots of great activities. And we decided that ‘The Maltese Falcon’ did all of those things,” said Flores.
The book is a detective novel involving murder, romance and mystery, and it’s been around for three generations.
While “The Maltese Falcon” may not be for younger readers, the library isn’t leaving them out. The committee picked “The Malted Falcon” as this year’s Big Read title for kids. That’s a mystery book for younger readers. Many of the events associated with the Big Read are also aimed at families, including family mystery nights at some branches.
Readers can go to the library branches to pick up a copy of the book, but thanks to a new program, you might not even have to go that far.
“This year for the first time, we’re also doing a ‘Take This Book’ program where we are dropping off copies of the books at various community organizations and businesses. If you find the book there, you take it home, read it, and then you drop it off somewhere else for the next person to find it,” she says.
For readers who do come to the library, Flores says there are many events they can get involved with, including lectures from authors and movie screenings. The library will also put on its Big Read Iron Chef Cook-off and Edible Books Festival as part of the month-long Big Read program.
The Big Read is a program through the National Endowment for the Arts, which offers grants to libraries for programs like this one. For more information on “The Maltese Falcon” and to view a full list of Big Read events, visit our website www.KSMU.org.
For KSMU News, I’m Melanie Foehrweiser.