SUNY Fredonia library receives funding for Big Read ‘Wild’ Winter project

SUNY Fredonia’s Daniel A. Reed Library has been selected once again to receive a Big Read grant for the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Big Read “Wild” Winter project.

A nationwide program to promote literacy in the community, the Big Read is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), via Arts Midwest. The grant allows Reed Library to purchase books for distribution to public libraries and reading groups in both counties. This year’s Big Read novel is Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild.”

The $15,000 grant helps sponsor programs designed for community involvement such as lectures, book distribution and a number of activities, all which are free and open to the public. Details of the events can be found at Among the library’s highlights are:

“Lead the Pack to the Big Read,” a kickoff event at the Prendergast Library, 509 Cherry St., Jamestown, on Friday, Feb. 1 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. with fun, food and festivities. Attendees are encouraged to come in appropriate dress for an Alaskan mining camp of that era.

James L. Haley, author of “Wolf,” a new London biography, will appear on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the 1891 Fredonia Opera House, 9 Church Street, Fredonia. Haley’s talk is titled, “Rediscovering Jack London.”

An original play written specifically for SUNY Fredonia’s Big Read initiative by SUNY Fredonia Professor of Theatre and Dance Ted Sharon will be performed on Thursday, Feb. 21 at the Reg Lenna Civic Center, 116 East 3rd Street, Jamestown. This special matinee performance will be open to middle and high school students from Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties as well as the general public.

A writing competition with prizes will be held as well.

Fredonia faculty, staff and students from across the campus have committed their time and talent to delivering quality programming to a variety of venues.

“Reed Library brought the Big Read to Chautauqua-Cattaraugus six years ago. The campus and community organizations have been very supportive of the effort since the beginning,” says Reed Library Director Randolph Gadikian. “Our Office of Sponsored Programs has been particularly helpful in refining grant applications and managing the grant funds.”

The Big Read is designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest.