The Great American Read is on and will choose an Alachua County favorite

September 7, 2018

Gainesville, Fla. – Something “bookish” is going on, and Alachua County Library District has teamed up with WUFT TV5 the local PBS station to encourage everyone to be a part of it. Launched this past April and continuing throughout the fall, PBS’ The Great American Read is asking people across the country to read, vote and share in the first-ever national campaign to choose “America’s Best-Loved Novel.” In addition, Alachua County readers are voting for their top choice. Alachua County readers chose their top “Sweet 16” titles. Voting continues at for the favorite book out of the 16 titles through September 15. The battle continues with the final local winner announced October 29. Viewers and readers can join the social media conversation @alachualibrary to share their favorite novels and personal stories.


In addition to the nationwide reading campaign, the eight-part television series returns to WUFT TV5 on Tuesday, September 11 at 8 p.m. and concludes with an exciting finale airing Tuesday, October 23 at 8:00 p.m. The Great American Read campaign encompasses a wide range of community engagement activities including library programs such as a Folk Art Printmaking class presented by Wayfaring Painter. Artist Kristyn Bat Lopez will lead participants through a mixed media experience using clay, printmaking and drawing techniques in following with the campaign’s engagement theme of “Who am I.” This program is at Headquarters Library, 401 E. University Avenue, on Friday, Sept. 12, 6:30 p.m. On Friday, Sept. 21, 10 a.m., at Headquarters Library, Elsa’s Arts & Crafts for Adults will guide participants through making art using pastels with a focus on the theme of “Heroes.”  On Wednesday, Oct. 3, 6 p.m., at Millhopper Branch, 3145 NW 43 Street; Sunday, Oct. 7, 2 p.m. at Tower Road Branch, 3020 SW 75 Street, and Wednesday, Oct. 24, 3:30 p.m. at Cone Park Branch, 2801 E University Avenue, author and historical reenactor Leah Oxendine  will discuss her book Rebels of Florida and use authentic historical costumes and music of the Civil War period to touch upon “Heroes,” “Who Am I” and “Villains and Monsters.”


“Alachua County Library District is thrilled to host Alachua County’s Great American Read, funded in part by the Florida Humanities Council” said Erin Phemester, Senior Library Manager Youth Services. “With titles that all ages can enjoy, the Great American Read is something the whole family can participate in. Take this opportunity to participate more fully in the conversation through programs at your local library, online through social media, or by watching the PBS episodes. Let your voice be heard and help crown the top title for Alachua County.”


Funding for The Great American Read was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Please visit the Library District’s eBranch at for additional information.




If a person with a disability needs an accommodation in order to participate in this event he or she is entitled, at no cost to him or her, to the provision of certain assistance.  Please contact the Alachua County Library District at 352-334-3910 at least three (3) days prior to the event.  TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service). 



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