Quincy Public Library is one of 78 institutions nationwide chosen to participate in    N.E.A. Big Read this year, receiving a federal grant of $15,000. This initiative is from The National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

This year’s N.E.A. Big Read: Quincy book is A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines. A Lesson Before Dying poses a universal question: Knowing we’re going to die, how should we live? It’s the story of an uneducated young black man named Jefferson, accused of the murder of a white storekeeper, set in 1940's Louisiana. For younger readers, Q.P.L. has selected The Watsons Go To Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis and Follow the Drinking Gourd by Jeanette Winter.

Grant money and additional sponsorship's will help fund over 45 programs in February and over 3,600 books, which Q.P.L. will distribute to the community. The festivities will begin with Kickoff on Jan. 30 from 4 to 6:30 pm. Q.P.L .is pleased to welcome Mr. John Hanlon as the keynote speaker. Hanlon is the Executive Director of the Illinois Innocence Project. The Messengers and Square Peg Troupe will also perform. The community is invited to pick up their free book at kickoff.

Partners include Quincy Public and Parochial school teachers who are teaching the books in their classrooms, The Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce, The Quincy Art Center, The Human Rights Commission, John Wood Community College, Quincy University, the Great River Genealogical Society, and many businesses in the District.

All Q.P.L. programs are free and open to the public. For more information about NEA Big Read: Quincy and for a complete list of programs, visit quincylibrary.org or call 217-223-1309.