The “Big Read” – The Things They Carried

The West Florida Public Library System welcomes ‘The Big Read,’ author Tim O’Brien to Escambia County
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 9:45am

In May it was proudly announced that the West Florida Public Library System had received a grant of $15,000 to host the Big Read program.

The West Florida Public Library is one of 77 nonprofit organizations to receive a grant to host The Big Read project between September 2014 and June 2015. The Big Read in Escambia County will focus on The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien’s novel about the lasting impact of the Vietnam War. O’Brien will come to Escambia County to launch The Big Read activities in October.

Managed by Arts Midwest, the Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to revitalize the role of reading in American culture by exposing citizens to great works of literature and encouraging them to read for pleasure.

The Big Read is made possible by WFPL’s strong community partnerships, including The Appleyard Agency, Pensacola Little Theatre, Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, Pensacola State College, the University of West Florida and the continuing support of the Friends of West Florida Public Library.

Upcoming Escambia County ‘Big Read’ Events:
A Conversation with Tim O’Brien
Author Tim O’Brien will talk with students and members of the public about The Things They Carried in an informal question and answer setting.
Friday, October 10, 1 to 2:30 p.m.
University of West Florida, 11000 University Parkway, Building, Room 191, Pensacola

The Big Read Community Kickoff
Join author Tim O’Brien as he helps us to kick off The Big Read in Escambia County.
Friday, October 10, 6 to 8 p.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola

Tim O’Brien at the National Museum of Naval Aviation
Author Tim O’Brien will discuss The Things They Carried at the National Museum of Naval Aviation.
Saturday, October 11, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
National Museum of Naval Aviation, 1750 Radford Boulevard, Pensacola
Movie Screening – Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam
Join us for a screening of Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam, a feature-length documentary film featuring real-life letters written by American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines during the Vietnam War to their families and friends back home. Archive footage of the war and news coverage thereof augments the first-person “narrative” by men and women who were in the war, some of whom did not survive it.

Monday, October 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Tryon Branch Library, 1200 Langley Avenue, Pensacola
The Big Read Scholarly Series – The Vietnam War: An Overview
Dr. Derek Zumbro, UWF Department of History, will discuss the history of the Vietnam War, from its origins in colonialism to its conclusion and its continuing impact on American society.

Thursday, October 23, 6 to 7 p.m.
Tryon Branch Library, 1200 Langley Avenue, Pensacola
The Big Read Scholarly Series – World War I and the Inevitability of War
In honor of the 100th anniversary of WWI, Dr. Derek Zumbro, UWF Department of History, will discuss the build up to war and why it couldn’t be stopped once the gears started turning.

Monday, November 3, 6 to 7 p.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola
Movie Screening – Return With Honor
Return With Honor tells the powerful, moving story of American pilots shot down over North Vietnam and their challenge to survive with honor as POW’s. A tribute to heroism, endurance and brotherhood under duress, the film recalls the transformation from top-gun aviators to captives. Told in their words, rich with survivor humor and complete with North Vietnamese archival footage, the film is a universal story of honor and duty.

Thursday, November 6, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola
The Things They Carried Reader’s Theater
Pensacola Little Theater, in partnership with WFPL, presents a dramatic interpretation of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried.

Sunday, November 9, 2 to 4 p.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola
The Big Read Scholarly Series – New Secondary Explosions: Combat PTSD and Moral Injury
A trauma psychologist, Dr. Rebecca Temple, will discuss moral injuries; a major theme of The Things They Carried. Moral injuries arise from the actions or inactions of an individual in war, the actions of others, or from bearing witness to extreme human suffering or gruesome sensory experiences in combat. These experiences conflict with a person’s prior fundamental beliefs about their character, other people, and humanity. **Please note, material may not be appropriate for all ages**

Wednesday, November 12, 6 to 8 p.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola
War Notes: Letters and Songs from Times of War
Musicians Libby Hargrave and Sam Waite present a program of music and the letters exchanged between soldiers and their loved ones back home, just one of many things they carried.

Tuesday, November 18, 6 to 8 p.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola
The Big Read Scholarly Series – The Poetics and Politics of Trauma: Literature and the Narrative Cure
Dr. Robin Blyn, UWF Department of English, will provide an overview of The Things They Carried and will offer some final thoughts on the book to bring The Big Read in Escambia County to a close.

Thursday, November 20, 6 to 7 p.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola
The Things They Carried Book Discussions
Community members are invited to join their neighbors at the library to talk about Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. All are encouraged to participate in this discussion about the author’s work, the Vietnam War and the war’s continuing impact on American society.

Monday, September 29, 6 to 7 p.m.
Molino Branch Library, 6450-A Highway 95A, Molino

Wednesday, October 15, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola

Thursday, October 16, 6 to 7 p.m.
Century Branch Library, 7991 N. Century Boulevard, Century

Tuesday, October 21, 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Pensacola State College, Chadbourne Library, 1000 College Boulevard, Building 20, Pensacola

Monday, October 27, 6 to 7 p.m.
Tryon Branch Library, 1200 Langley Avenue, Pensacola

Wednesday, October 29, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Tryon Branch Library, 1200 Langley Avenue, Pensacola

Wednesday, November 5, 6 to 7 p.m.
Pensacola Habitat for Humanity, 300 W. Leonard Street, Pensacola

Saturday, November 8, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Main Library, 239 N. Spring Street, Pensacola

Monday, November 10, 6 to 7 p.m.
Southwest Branch Library, 12248 Gulf Beach Highway, Pensacola

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