Four states selected for national expansion of PRIME TIME family reading program

Contact: Laura Hayes


Dana Eness, LEH

504-523-4352 ext. 126

For Immediate Release

November 7, 2003

Four states selected for national expansion of PRIME TIME family reading program

The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH), in cooperation with the American Library Association (ALA) Public Programs Office, selected public libraries in California, Florida, Kentucky and Pennsylvania to participate in the national expansion of the LEH’s award-winning family reading and discussion program, PRIME TIME FAMILY READING TIME

National expansion of PRIME TIME is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which also supported earlier grants for implementation in Louisiana and initial national expansion.

In California and Pennsylvania, the state library will direct the partnership with the public libraries. In Kentucky and Florida, the Kentucky Humanities Council and the Florida Council for the Humanities, respectively will direct the partnership with the state libraries serving as partners.

Eleven states applied to host the program, the four states – representing 19 community libraries – that were chosen, include:

  • California – Del Norte County Public Library, Crescent City; Santa Ana Public Library, Santa Ana; Ventura County Library, Ventura; Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library, Stockton; Madera County Library, Madera.

  • Florida – Hardee County Public Library, Wauchula; LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library, Tallahassee; Orange County Library System, Orlando; Putnam County Library System, Palatka; Martin County Library System, Stuart.

  • Kentucky – Bowling Green Public Library, Bowling Green; Breckinridge County Public Library, Hardinsburg; Kenton County Public Library, Covington; Laurel County Public Library, London; Lexington Public Library, Lexington.

  • Pennsylvania – Collingdale Public Library, Collingdale; James V. Brown Library, Williamsport; Martin Library, York; Stey-Nevant Public Library, Farrell.

Based on illustrated children’s books, PRIME TIME is designed to help low-income, low-literate families bond around the act of reading and talking about books.
It models and encourages family reading and discussion of humanities topics, and aids parents and children in selecting books and becoming active public library users.
PRIME TIME received the 2003 Advancement of Literacy award from the Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the ALA, and the Coming Up Taller award from the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2000.

Selected states will receive grant funding and support materials to present the PRIME TIME series at five library sites.
Each series will meet once a week for six weeks at participating libraries.
Through a discussion leader and a storyteller, children ages 6 to 10 years and their parents or guardians will hear classic children’s stories; engage in reading aloud demonstrations; discuss humanities themes in each book and learn about library resources and services.
Younger siblings, ages 3 to 5 years, will participate in separate pre-reading activities.

PRIME TIME is based on a successful series of the same name that was created by the LEH in 1991 at the East Baton Rouge (La.) Parish Library and has spread nationally with funding from NEH.
Nearly 11,000 individuals have participated in more than 300 PRIME TIME programs in 32 states and the Virgin Islands.

The ALA Public Programs Office fosters cultural programming by libraries of all types.
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.

For more information about PRIME TIME, please visit or