Everyone Invited to Join The Big Read in 2009
Central Oklahoma joined the national Big Read program in 2008 and the events were so successful sponsors The Metropolitan Library System and Rose State College are eager to do it again.
“The Big Read” was developed in response to a 2004 report from the National Education Association indicating a critical drop in American adults who read just for the fun of it. The National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and in cooperation with Arts Midwest, found a way to get entire communities excited about reading. Other community reading programs exist, but after only four years The Big Read is the largest of them all.
“The Big Read’s return to the metro area in a series of October programs and events has all of us excited,” said MLS Big Read Events Coordinator Emily Williams. “For our book this year we chose a title that may be familiar to a lot of people. We’ll be reading and building our events around the classic American detective novel, ‘The Maltese Falcon.’”
Why a crime story?
Originally published in 1930, the book’s prose style has been described as “spare and unembellished, appropriate to Hammett’s no-nonsense protagonists.” Crime fiction authority Lee Horsley
wrote that “the American thrillers of the period repeatedly represent the sort of transformation that leaves the protagonist feeling that 'someone had taken the lid off life and let him look at the works.’ The sense of disillusionment in the years between the wars was heightened by political and economic disasters for which people were wholly unprepared.”
But while the book’s themes are serious, the events the Metropolitan Library System has planned are fun and highly imaginative.
“The Big Read is an amazing opportunity for Oklahoma City to explore one of the great but underappreciated works of literature,” said Emily Williams. “The library is hosting all kinds of fun Big Read programs in October to help bring people together as a community, and to encourage them to share ideas. The Metropolitan Library System also has the third and definitive movie version of ‘The Maltese Falcon,” the one starring Humphrey Bogart, so people can check it out, and we have an audio book version as well so you can listen to it in your car.”
Schedule of Big Read Events
The Maltese Falcon Book Discussions:
Choctaw Library Pageturner’s Book Club, Oct. 3, 10am
Warr Acres Library Book Club, Oct. 5, 11am
Del City Book Club, Oct. 6, 6pm
Southern Oaks Library Book Club, Oct. 13, 11:30am
Village Library Book Club, Oct. 19, 3pm
Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oct. 8, 7:30pm
Downtown Library, Oct. 25, 2pm
Reduxion Theatre’s Maltese Falcon Radio Play
Edmond Library, Oct. 17, 2pm
And so much more for people of all ages. For more information about all the local Big Read events, check out the Metropolitan Library System’s website at www.metrolibrary.org
The Metropolitan Library System of Oklahoma County includes 12 libraries and five extension libraries. Libraries include Belle Isle, Capitol Hill, Ralph Ellison, Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library and Southern Oaks in Oklahoma City, as well as Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Midwest City, Village and Warr Acres. Extensions are located in the communities of Harrah, Jones, Luther and Nicoma Park and include Wright Library in Oklahoma City. You can also reach us at www.metrolibrary.org.