Art Works Blog

Building a Community of Readers with Nancy Pearl

May 3, 2010
Seattle, Washington

Nancy Pearl. Photo by Marco Prozzo

This spring The Big Read is literally taking place right outside our doors as the District of Columbia Public Library and the Humanities Council of Washington, DC engage the capital community in reading, discussing, and celebrating A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. As we've said many times before, the NEA's national Big Read initiative owes a great debt to early pioneers of citywide reads, particularly the Seattle Public Library, which is generally credited with launching the one book-one community idea.

In 2007, as we launched The Big Read nationally, I was fortunate to speak with Nancy Pearl, the librarian who developed "If All Seattle Read the Same Book." (Some Nancy Pearl trivia: she was the inspiration for the popular Librarian Action Figure!) Click on the links below to read part one and part two of my chat with Seattle's legendary librarian.

Building a Community of Readers, Part 1

Building a Community of Readers, Part 2

If you'd like to learn more about the NEA's Big Read initiative, visit the website.

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