Fifty public libraries selected for 'The Great American Read' programming grants from PBS and ALA

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/08/2018

Contact:

Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office

312-280-5061

sostman@ala.org

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) and PBS announced the list of 50 public libraries selected to receive programming grants for “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love.

Hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, “The Great American Read” will engage audiences with a list of 100 diverse books, encouraging audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the titles.

The series will premiere at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, on PBS stations with a two-hour launch, kicking off a summer of reading and voting and will introduce viewers to the full list of America’s 100 favorite novels selected through a demographically representative national survey conducted by YouGov. The series will also feature interviews with celebrities, authors, superfans and everyday Americans discussing the way particular books have influenced them and their significance in American popular culture.

After a multi-platform initiative throughout the summer, which will include live public events, social media components and national reading clubs, the series will resume in the fall with several themed episodes, including an exciting finale, culminating in the first-ever national vote to choose “America’s Best-Loved Novel.”

More than 220 public libraries applied for cash grants to support at least three public programs related to the series. Grantees were selected through a peer-reviewed, competitive application process managed by the ALA Public Programs Office.

View the list of selected libraries.

In addition to the cash grants, the selected libraries will receive a DVD collection of the series with public performance rights; a hardcover copy of the companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books” by PBS (Black Dog & Leventhal, Aug. 21, 2018); print materials for local program promotion and publicity; and a programming guide developed by ALA, PBS and a panel of librarian advisors.

The libraries will also have the opportunity to host screenings of the series premiere and the six fall episodes before they broadcast to the public.

“The Great American Read” is a production of Nutopia for PBS. Funding for “The Great American Read” is provided by The Anne Ray Foundation and PBS.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 57,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

About PBS

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 90 million people through television and 30 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices