ALA receives grant for fourth StoryLines America season

Contact: Laura Hayes, ALA


For Immediate Release

November 26, 2003

ALA receives grant for fourth StoryLines America season

The American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office has received a $249,972 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to present the fourth season of the award winning radio-library partnership, StoryLines America. This highly successful series explores regional literature through radio talk shows and library programs.
Programs will broadcast in Fall 2004 and will feature the literature of New England from classic and contemporary authors.

StoryLines America debuted in 1997 with two series of programs on the literature of the Southwest and Northwest.
The second season aired in 1999 and featured the literature of California and the Southeast.
The third series, which aired in 2001, featured the literature of the Midwest.
All three seasons have been supported by the NEH.
Additional support for seasons two and three were provided by Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

StoryLines is based on a series entitled "Big Sky Radio," which was the brainchild of librarian Georgia Lomax, and aired in Montana from 1993 to 1995 – also with NEH support.
Characterized as “a cross between ‘Larry King Live’ and a college English class,” StoryLines’ dynamic format combines author interviews and scholarly commentary with listener call-ins.
Each radio program begins with a consideration of the featured book and its historical background and literary significance, using it as a lens to examine the experience of living in the region.
Interviews with guests follow, and then the phone lines are opened so that listeners can call the special toll-free number and participate in the dialogue. The discussions are lively and provocative.

Featured guest N. Scott Momaday, author of “The Way to Rainy Mountain,” said of a past StoryLines series, “I thoroughly enjoyed being a guest on ‘Storylines Southwest.’ This radio series provides a very creative and thoughtful way to experience literature.”

Libraries participating in the StoryLines series offer additional venues for discussion and exploration of the themes of each book through public programs and provide additional resources for listeners, including discussion guides that feature a summary of the themes of each book and discussion questions.

StoryLines New England programs will begin airing in October 2004, and will be broadcast for 13 weeks on public radio stations in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and on some stations outside the region that specialize in literary programming.

Libraries and radio stations that would like to participate in StoryLines New England, can contact the ALA Public Programs Office at (312) 280-5045 or

The mission of the ALA Public Programs Office is to foster cultural programming as an integral part of library service in all types of libraries.
Established in 1990, the office helps thousands of libraries nationwide develop and host programs that encourage dialogue among community members and works to establish libraries as cultural centers in their communities.