Lawton Public Library receives grant

The City of Lawton was the only community in Oklahoma chosen to promote a month long reading event.  The Lawton Public Library received a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts which they will use to hold at least sixty reading events and a free book handout.

Sponsors are getting ready for it's kickoff and the library is giving the community a big push to read.  Since people now have so many ways of getting their information more quickly, libraries aren't as full these days.  That's why Dr. Judy Neale the Cameron University sponsor is a part of this reading initiative.  "Reading is a fading skill.  We don't have people reading as we've had years ago.  So we are coming together as a community to read one book," she said.

One of the reading events is called "The Big Read".  Those who show up will get a free book: "The Grapes of Wrath".  A classic featuring Oklahoma's history; something appropriate since the state just celebrated a birthday.  "We are proud that we are survivors and that "The Grapes of Wrath" will help us celebrate our centennial," said Neale.

Karol Haney, a representative who works with adults from all ages at the Great Plains Technology Center, says that good reading habits start at home.  "When children see adults reading, they are more likely to read," she said.  And Joan Oligher with Fort Sill's Nye Library says the "Big Read" will also bring the community together.

"It's an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture and bring the transformative power of literature to the lives of its citizens.  With the state of Oklahoma celebrating its centennial year, the committee has chosen the novel, "The Grapes of Wrath" by John Steinbeck, to reflect Oklahoma's history.  The event will kick off September 30th and continue through the month of October.  The activities include book discussions, movie showing, exhibits, theatrical reading of the book, essay and poetry contest and much more.

Please show your support by donating or attending the library's live auction at the Museum of the Great Plains.

Auction items include:

  • 4 theme park tickets to Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL
  • 2 nights stay at Hilton Orlando-Donated by Bob Walter
  • 2 nights stay at Doubletree Guest Suites-Donated by Bob Walter
  • 1 Heritage Basket from Southwest Genealogical Society
  • Quilt donated by Carol Sinnreich
  • Gourd donated by John Hernandez
  • Silver book mark donated by Deborah Baroff
  • Antique bow-donated by Dr. Judy Neale
  • Free teeth cleaning and exam by Dr. James Clevering
  • Autographed books
  • Food certificate donated by Sharon Cheatwood

For more information contact the Lawton Public Library at 580-581-3450 ext. 3