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Big Read program includes special exhibit at library

With the launch of a special exhibit, “The Art of War-Gifts of Peace: The Unknowns,” Johnson County Library is participating in the Kansas City metropolitan region’s  2017 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read program.

The exhibit is at the Central Resource Library, 9875 West 87th Street, Overland Park, through December. The display features works from local artists as well as objects in the “unknown series” from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

 For the first time, Johnson County Library (JCL) is teaming up with five other partner libraries on both sides of the state line in the annual Big Read program through the end of November. Aside from JCL, Kansas participants include the libraries in Olathe and Kansas City. Participants on the Missouri side are the Kansas City, Mid-Continent and North Kansas City public libraries.

All six library systems will revisit the turbulent period of the Vietnam War for a community-wide Big Read reading and encourage book group discussions of  Tim O’Brien’s seminal book “The Things They Carried.”

The NEA Big Read program is the latest in a series of successful collaborative ventures among the regional libraries. Others include the Union Catalogue project, which makes all the library catalogues simultaneously visible to patrons, and the recent “Library Night at the K” partnership with the Kansas City Royals.

The metro library systems will also offer events connected to “The Things They Carried” and the Vietnam War. JCL activities include a special program on “Protest, What Is It Good For?” at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at Central Resource Library.

 More information about the metro Big Read program and activities is available at www.bigreadkc.org