For immediate release | September 11, 2017

50 public libraries selected for ‘The Vietnam War’ PBS documentary programming opportunity

The American Library Association (ALA) and WETA Washington, DC, announced 50 U.S. public libraries selected to receive a programming kit for “The Vietnam War,” a 10-part documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that will air on PBS stations beginning Sept. 17.

The libraries, selected through a peer-reviewed competitive application process, will receive a copy of the 18-hour documentary series on DVD, with public performance rights, as well as the companion book, “The Vietnam War: An Intimate History” by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, 2017).

The libraries will also receive a programming guide with ideas and resources for public programs to complement the film. A digital version of the programming guide is publicly available. Download “The Vietnam War” Programming Guide for Libraries.

Recipients will also receive promotional materials, online resources developed to support local programs, opportunities for partnership with local PBS station(s), and more.

More than 350 public libraries applied for the opportunity. View the list of selected libraries.

The kit is designed to help libraries participate in a national conversation about one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history. Participating libraries are required to host at least one public program related to the film before Jan. 1, 2018, along with other promotional and reporting requirements.

In “The Vietnam War,” Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the conflict as it has never before been told on film. The film features testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Learn more about the film.

The project is offered by the ALA Public Programs Office in partnership with WETA Washington, DC.

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 58,000 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 WETA Washington, DC

WETA Washington, DC, is one of the largest producing stations of new content for public television in the United States. WETA productions and co-productions include “PBS NewsHour,” “Washington Week,” “The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize,” “The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song,” “Latino Americans” and “The Italian Americans”; documentaries by filmmaker Ken Burns, including “The Civil War,” “Baseball,” “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” and “The Vietnam War”; and productions by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., including “Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.” (Seasons Three and Four), “Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise” and “Africa’s Great Civilizations.” WETA presentations include “Martha Stewart’s Cooking School,” “Pati’s Mexican Table,” “Sara’s Weeknight Meals,” “Globe Trekker” and “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at On social media, visit on Facebook or follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.


Sarah Ostman

Communications Manager

ALA Public Programs Office