Library awarded Big Read grant

DEARBORN — The Dearborn Public Library has received $10,000 grant to host The Big Read here, with communitywide activities planned in March through May 2014 for all ages.

The theme for the Big Read Dearborn is “Call of the Wild: EmBARKing on Discovery” with a focus on Jack London’s classic novel, The Call of the Wild.

The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage residents to read for pleasure and enlightenment.

The Dearborn Public Library is one of only two libraries in Michigan to receive this grant, and one of 77 in the nation.

To help bring this special program to life, Dearborn Public Library is partnering with many institutions and organizations, including The Henry Ford, the Dearborn Community Fund, the Dearborn Education Foundation, the Dearborn Public Schools, the Dearborn Library Foundation, Friends of the Library-Dearborn, the University of Michigan-Dearborn Mardigian Library, the UM-D Environmental Interpretative Center, Oakwood Healthcare Foundation, the AAUW Dearborn, the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter, the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, and the Dearborn Heights Libraries. The list is growing.

“We are beyond excited about this,” Dearborn Public Library Director Maryanne Bartles said. “With the generous grant from the NEA and Arts Midwest, and the wonderful support of our community partners, we hope to bring the Dearborn community together to learn, grow, have fun, and most importantly, read.”

The adventure begins with a kickoff at The Henry Ford on March 8, 2014.

The event will be in the Anderson Theater and the Prechter Promenade, featuring a dramatic reading from “The Call of the Wild” by literary celebrity George Guidall, free copies of the book, live music, family-friendly activities, and more.

Throughout March, April and May, there will be a series of events for children, teens, and adults, including movies, book discussions, lectures, a photo contest, and more.

Plans are to purchase 400 copies of the book in paperback for the kickoff and 10,000 copies in tabloid format for the entire program.

In addition, dual language Arabic/English books for the selected title have been found so that The Big Read Dearborn can include Dearborn residents who speak Arabic as their first language.

Also, the Dearborn Public Schools, the Henry Ford Academy, the Muslim American Youth Academy and Advanced Technology Academy will incorporate the book into their curriculum.

The program will wrap up in May with a celebration at the Henry Ford Centennial Library featuring activities for the entire community. Go to for updates.

The Big Read is managed by Arts Midwest and provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 31 selections from U.S. and world literature. For more information about The Big Read, go to