This year's PLS Big Read will bring that same sort of entertainment and education to readers in Cleveland, McClain and Pottawatomie counties. It will feature scholar-led book discussions in all 10 communities with hometown libraries, as well as such events as children's story times on western themed books, craft programs, a special quilting series at the Blanchard Public Library and more.
And "True Grit" lovers from all across the state are invited to attend the following events of broad interest, each offered free of charge:
The library presents a Bold Talk scholar panel discussion at 7 p.m., Friday, March 14, at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma. The book discussion of "True Grit" features UCO English professor Steve Garrison, PLS Local History and Genealogy Library Kathryn Ramsay, and Oklahoma Poet Laureate Nathan Brown.
Oklahoma City attorney and musician Bob French moderates the discussion. The museum galleries will be open before and after the book discussion, and French, Steven Streetman and Gary Howe will add vintage tunes to the ambiance of the museum to accompany an exhibit or rare drawings by sculptor Allan Houser.
The library partners with two central Oklahoma theaters for a showing of the 2010 Coen brothers movie based on "True Grit." The Warren Theatre in Moore hosts the movie at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 27, and Cinema Center 8 in Shawnee presents the movie at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 3. Preceding each showing will be a documentary film "The True, True Grit," produced by the University of Oklahoma Video and Media Services Department.
The finale for the PLS Big Read: True Grit will be a day filled with activities on Saturday, April 12. The day begins at 10 a.m. with the annual Norman '89er Day Parade in downtown Norman. Activities then shift to the Cleveland County Fairgrounds for a Free Family Fun Fair with family-friendly activities, performances, games, food vendors and more. At 2 p.m., the day culminates with a performance by Pawnee Bill's Original Wild West Show, making its first-ever Norman presentation and the first time in several years the show has been presented anywhere outside of Pawnee, where they perform June 13-14 at the historic Pawnee Bill Ranch. The show and all activities at the fairgrounds will be offered free of charge.
The PLS Big Read: True Grit is presented with major funding by the Pioneer Library System, Pioneer Library System Foundation, Oklahoma Humanities Council, Norman Arts Council, The Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation, and the Friends of the Norman Library. Additional support is provided by Dewayne Sexton's Cowboy Carriage, Queen of Hart's Costumes LLC, University of Oklahoma Video and Media Services, Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Moore Warren Theatre, Shawnee Cinema Center 8, Cleveland County OSU Extension, Cleveland County 4-H, Cleveland County Fairgrounds, Pawnee Bill Ranch Association, and Mercury Press, Inc.
Find out more about this year's PLS Big Read activities by visiting or calling any hometown library or online at the PLS Big Read website, www.pls.lib.ok.us/pls-big-read.