DeKalb County goes western for seventh annual Big Read events

DeKALB – The DeKalb Public Library has brought the Big Read back to DeKalb County this October. The library won a highly-competitive $15,000 Big Read grant from the National Endowment of the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Only 77 grants were awarded nationwide, and the DeKalb library is one of only three libraries in the nation to receive the grant seven years in a row.

The goal of the Big Read is to give away as many free books as possible. This year’s book is “True Grit” by Charles Portis, an American Western with such wit, charm and bravery that one cannot help but to read it in one sitting. It is a book for young adults and adults.

The library has planned more than 70 events all over the county this month with a Western theme. There will be movie showings, pony rides, a campfire, a demonstration of pioneer canning, a yodeling rope juggler and more. Free copies of the book will be distributed at each event. People who attend any Big Read event dressed as a cowboy can have their picture taken and made into a “wanted” poster that will be used to decorate the library’s youth services department.

There is also a “Tall Tale Wall” in the youth services department this month. Anyone who would like to add to the ongoing Western story unfolding on the wall can write a segment. At the end of the month, the library will turn the finished story into a book people can take home. “John Wayne” will also be popping up unexpectedly throughout the library and at Big Read events throughout the month.

For event or donation information, visit or call Edith Craig at 815-754-9568 ext. 260.

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