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Pioneer Library System receives NEA grant for The Big Read

NEA and Arts Midwest Big ReadThe Pioneer Library System is one of 78 organizations nationwide to receive a $10,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the 2013 edition of The Big Read, PLS announced today.

The Big Read will focus on the novel Old School by Tobias Wolff, with several weeks of programming throughout the library system’s three-county area, leading up to Wolff coming to Oklahoma for public events April 25-26, 2013.

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. PLS and the other 77 selected organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events.

Participating communities also receive high-quality, free-of-charge educational materials to supplement each title, including Reader’s, Teacher’s, and Audio Guides, which also are available for download on

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman said, “At the NEA we know that the arts can help to create strong, vibrant communities by bringing people together. Through The Big Read, these 78 organizations are giving their communities the opportunity to share both great works of literature and memorable experiences."

This is the seventh year for the library system to host The Big Read. Past novels utilized have been The Grapes of Wrath, Bless Me Ultima, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Maltese Falcon, The Things They Carried and last year’s novel, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club.

The Pioneer Library System is the state’s third largest library system, serving the nearly 350,000 residents of Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties. It operates branch libraries in 10 cities, as well as eight Information Stations in rural communities and book drops and pickups in Norman’s Sooner Mall, the Shawnee Mall and the B&B Country Store in east Norman.

For more information about The Big Read, visit

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