Big Read connects community members |

Big Read connects community members

Kelsy Been
Garfield County Libraries
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

The Garfield County Libraries invite you to connect with your community through great literature. The libraries received a grant to host The Big Read, featuring the book “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. The Big Read will take place in February, with events scheduled all month long throughout Garfield County.

To kick-start The Big Read, the Garfield County Libraries and History Colorado Center sent 14 local high school students to a Youth Summit in Denver on Oct. 17.

Through a live webinar, students discussed the history of the Dust Bowl and its aftermath with renowned documentary producer, Ken Burns. His new documentary, “The Dust Bowl,” is set to air on PBS on Nov. 18 and 19.

The libraries selected participants through a contest in which students submitted essays, poetry, posters, exhibits or art pieces that reflect on themes found in “The Grapes of Wrath.” Contest submissions will be on display at the Parachute Branch Library during February. Make sure to check out the local talent.

Currently, the Garfield County Libraries are looking for residents to help create a collective memory of the Great Depression. Did you or a loved one live through the Great Depression? Do you have stories, photos, or videos you’d like to share?

The libraries are teaming up with Walter Gallacher, producer of the Immigrant Stories Project, to interview Garfield County residents about their experiences living through the Great Depression.

Share your story with us to create a community narrative of this momentous event in history, and find out where your stories intersect with others. Your story could be aired on the radio, published in the newspaper, and shared at your local library. For more information or to participate in this project, contact Kelsy Been at 625-4270 or

In preparation for February’s festivities, the libraries are already stocking up on copies of “The Grapes of Wrath.” Stop by your local library to check out your copy of this great American novel, which probes the nature of equality, injustice and the powerful and powerless in America.

Copies of the book are also available in Spanish or as books on CD and eBooks. And, you can always reserve a copy from your home or office by visiting

Come February, you can attend a number of book-themed programs including book discussions, scholar and author lectures, film screenings, swing dance lessons, and even home brewing classes.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. For more information about The Big Read, please visit

Patt Jones, featured quilter at the recent Colorado of Colorado Quilt Show, is coming to the Parachute Branch Library at 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, with her trunk of quilts. Take a peek at the various styles and techniques used to create award winning quilts. Jones is an accomplished quilter, a member of the Roaring Fork Quilt Guild, a quilt teacher at the Glenwood Sewing Center, and a member of the Colorado Quilt Council.

Bring your teddy, wear your pj’s, and join us at the New Castle Branch Library at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 12, for an evening of fun and stories with the zany Eva Fitzwater, storyteller extraordinaire.

Children are invited to come to the New Castle, Silt, and Rifle libraries every Friday afternoon for engaging science activities taught by Re-2 teachers.

Classes for kindergartners through second graders will be held at each library from noon to 2 p.m., and classes for third and fourth graders will be held at each library from 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Each class will be limited to 25 students, on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents are encouraged to call the library or go online at to pre-register for this program.

Go to for a complete description of each Friday’s activities. This program was funded in part with a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which administers the Library Services and Technology Act.

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