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ERIC Number: ED511719
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Introducing Public Libraries to The Big Read: Final Report on the Audio Guide Distribution
Sloan, Kay; Randall, Michelle
National Endowment for the Arts
In July 2008, over 14,000 public libraries throughout the U.S. received, free of charge, a set of fourteen Audio Guides introducing them to The Big Read. Since 2007, when the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, in partnership with Arts Midwest, debuted The Big Read, the program has awarded grants to over 500 communities nationwide. In collaboration with local partners, grantees host events that bring citizens together to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 23 classics of American and world literature. In addition to direct funding, grantees also receive companion resources, including The Big Read Audio Guides. Preliminary results from a national evaluation of The Big Read indicated that these audio resources, which feature Big Read authors such as Amy Tan and Ray Bradbury, and commentary from other writers, actors, and well-known figures such as Edward Albee, Robert Redford, Mary-Louise Parker, and Colin Powell helped participating communities engage readers and non-readers alike in local Big Read events. Findings also indicated that public libraries play a pivotal role in The Big Read, as grantees and as partners. To support and take advantage of that role, and the vital role libraries traditionally play in local communities, the Institute of Museum and Library Services contributed additional funds for The Big Read Audio Guide distribution, managed by Arts Midwest, with the assistance of the Public Library Association. By making these resources more widely available, program sponsors hoped to give libraries and communities the opportunity to participate in The Big Read without formally applying for a full grant. The Big Read Audio Guide Public Library Surveys are appended. (Contains 9 tables, 2 figures, and 9 footnotes.) [For the accompanying reports, see "A Book Club for a Nation, Built Chapter by Chapter. The Big Read. Final Report" (ED511710) and "The Big Read: Case Studies" (ED511704).]
National Endowment for the Arts. 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20506. Tel: 202-682-5400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Endowment for the Arts