Posted by: keanlibrary | September 16, 2009

The Big Read at Kean University


Kean University has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant to host The Big Read between September 2009 and April 2010. The Big Read gives communities the opportunity to come together to read, discuss and celebrate a common reading selection.

As a host of The Big Read, Kean will carry out this extensive community-based reading program featuring activities such as book discussions, lectures, movie screenings and performing arts events. Kean will be partnering with the Elizabeth Public Library, local Veterans Associations, and a variety of local high schools for the outreach component of this NEA grant.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents The Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. The Big Read brings together partners across the country to encourage reading for pleasure and enlightenment.


“Kean’s selected Big Read text is Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, considered one of the finest books about the Vietnam War. Far from a combat story of pride and glory, it is a compassionate tale of the American soldier, brimming with raw honesty and thoughtful reflection. O’Brien challenges readers to ponder larger philosophical questions about truth and memory, and brings the reader closer to the emotional core of soldiers’ experiences.”


In support of the Big Read project at Kean University, the Nancy Thompson Library will be showcasing The Things They Carried as well as other resources on the Vietnam War and information about author Tim O’Brien.  There are currently displays set up in the main lobby of the library for your perusal.  If you have any questions about this novel, or even about The Big Read in general, please feel free to ask your friendly librarians at Kean University.


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