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The Alachua County Library District would like to thank our community partners, our staff and volunteers, our presenters, businesses that provided refreshments, local media and our patrons for helping make The Big Read a success. ACLD's Big Read would not have been possible without the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts. The Big Read, a program designed by the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest to restore reading to the center of American culture, will host programs in 76 communities across the country.
Support from the National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest made ACLD's Big Read possible, but the work of countless people made The Big Read wonderful. While we cannot thank everyone, we would like to point to a few of the people who helped make the ACLD's celebration of A Wizard of Earthsea and Ursula K. Le Guin fantastic.
Planning Committee: An endeavor of this magnitude required a great many hands and minds. The Planning Committee included, but was not limited to, Nancy Case, Chris Culp, Travis Fristoe, John Jack, Nickie Kortus, Isabel Martin, Meredith Ann Pierce, Judith Weaver, and the library’s many branch programmers.
Community Partners: The library was not alone in the Big Read and we are grateful for the cooperation of these like-minded community groups. Cade Museum for Creativity + Innovation, Civic Media Center, School Board of Alachua County, Sequential Artists Workshop, University of Florida Center for Women’s Studies & Gender Research, UF Department of English, UF Levin College of Law and Wild Iris Books.
Presenters: Our presenters wore many hats—educators, authors, critics, lecturers. Their enthusiasm for Le Guin and science fiction and fantasy was contagious. Thanks to Arwen Curry, Melissa Harris, Tace Hedrick, Patty Lipka, Meredith Ann Pierce, Jennifer Rea, Stephanie Smith, Judith Weaver and Jennifer Wondracek
Media: Local media newspapers listed Big Read events in print and web event calendars and wrote stories about The Big Read. Local radio produced public service announcements and original radio programming. Thank you to The Gainesville Guardian, The Gainesville Iguana, The Gainesville Sun, Florida’s 89.1 WUFT FM, Grow Radio and WGOT-LP 94.7 FM. An extra special thank you to Hank Conner of Calling Conner and Lynn Loewenthal of Good Company for their wonderful interviews with Arwen Curry and Stephanie Smith, respectively.
Local businesses: Refreshments for the Kickoff, the Young Writer’s Workshop and The Big Read Art Exhibition and prizes for The Big Read Writing Contest and The Big Read Art Contest were provided by local businesses. Thank you to B&B Office Systems, Civilization/Terranova, Five Star Pizza, Maude’s Café, Panache at the Wine & Cheese Gallery, Sarkara Sweets, Vellos Historic Brickstreet Grille and Volta Coffee, Tea & Chocolate for lovely refreshments. Thank you to The Alachua Restaurant Group for gift certificates for Blue Sky Café, Flying Biscuit Café and Moe’s Southwest Grill.
Staff and Volunteers: Staff from every branch and department plus community and library volunteers helped plan, organize and run The Big Read. Thank you to ACLD Staff and volunteers for making The Big Read an excellent program of more than 25 free events.
Patrons: And Alachua County Public Library District patrons deserve special thanks for closing the circle. Your participation, your thoughtful comments and insightful questions and your enthusiasm for A Wizard of Earthsea and other works by Ursula K. Le Guin made some magic.