Southern Indiana libraries and arts groups are teaming up for a free reading event in the coming weeks.
The CARE Great read, a new community reading initiative launched by the Arts Alliance of Southern Indiana (AASI), kicked off on Wednesday. Over 1,000 copies of The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros are offered free to the public.
The book tells the story of a Mexican-American girl who grew up in Chicago. The launch of The Big Read coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month.
“The House on Mango Street addresses the complexities of life and growth through the struggles of cultural, social and gender challenges,” AASI Executive Director Brian Bell said in a statement. “It’s a book for everyone. We chose this title because of its wide range of relationships with a diverse community. Sharing stories that expose struggles and aspirations in everyday life connects us and strengthens community.
Clark, Floyd and Harrison County Libraries participate in Big Read, alongside the Jeffersonville Public Art Commission and Community Action of Southern Indiana.
Floyd County Library Director Melissa Merida said she hopes the new program will spark more interest in reading and libraries.
“We want this to be kind of an introduction to your public library without accessibility barriers,” she said. “Just pick up a book from the Harvest Homecoming booth for the Floyd County Library, or you can drop by one of our locations and pick up a free copy. “
The Clarksville branch of the Jeffersonville Township Public Library is hosting a celebration of Hispanic heritage this Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., during which copies of the book will be distributed.
“The book lends itself to some sort of creative process,” director David Seckman said. “If you’ve read it before, there are also some very poetic passages. So I think it’s going to tap into visual and written art as well.
A virtual book discussion is scheduled for November 19. An hour of related amateur poetry will take place on January 17th.