Great American Read highlight of farmers market


CLINTON — Besides “engaging in the senses,” Clinton Farmers Market, held Thursdays at the Village Green, has become a place where patrons can share some passages from their favorite reads.

After taking in the scents of savory barbecue, seeing colorful farm-fresh fruits and vegetables and tasting a few homemade treats, shoppers have had an added experience as they take part in the
Great American Read.

Back in May, Kirkland Town Library received a $2,000 grant from the American Library Association and PBS to host programs centered on the Great American Read, an eight-part television series and multiplatform initiative that celebrates reading.

The library is one of 223 libraries nation-wide that submitted
an application to be a part of the
program and is one of 50 to be selected. The only other libraries in central New York to receive the grant were Manlius and Liverpool in Onondaga County.

Anne Debraggio, Barbara Pratt and Darby O’Brien, all staff members of the Kirkland Town Library, volunteer their time to read excerpts from famous books and novels out loud to the attendees of the market, while sharing a wish to ignite passion and excitement surrounding literature.

“We are hoping that people will hear a title that they recognize or a title that they haven’t read and will want to pick up that book,” said Pratt, Programming and Event coordinator of the library. “Some people may be surprised by the books on this list. Some of the books listed I haven’t even read.”

The Great American Read television series scheduled to appear on PBS starting on Sept. 11 and will focus on various themes and discussions surrounding 100 books that were chosen on a national poll. The series will conclude with a crowning of America’s favorite book, as voted by viewers and book-lovers across the country.

“We are very proud to say that the Kirkland Town Library was one of three New York libraries to be allowed to participate in this event,” said Debraggio, director of the library. “It was very exciting to see our little library chosen for something that is nationally recognized.”

Voting for the contest takes place on the PBS website and anyone can place their vote once a day until Oct. 18. 
Along with this event, the library is also hosting, “Read Around The Clock,” a 24-hour non-stop read-along, to be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, July 26.
“We’re looking forward to this,” Debraggio said. “There may even be a record to be broken. But we are in need of volunteers to take reading shifts throughout the 24-hour period. Anyone interested can sign up on our library’s website.”
All three librarians agreed that in a time when reading for leisure is seemingly starting to dwindle, it’s still a popular and adored past-time.
“People are still reading a lot,” said Debraggio. “We’ve seen children absolutely thrilled and excited to receive a book, which is very refreshing to see. The books that someone has on their shelves can let you know a lot about that person, which is one of the many hidden powers that books have.”


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