No need to stress about what to read for yourself or what to read to your kids this summer. New Hanover County Public Library, the Office of Diversity and Equity, and Friends of the Library are partnering on a “Read across the County” initiative to bring people of different races and ages together for a community-wide summer of reading.
“The only way we’re going to get better is — we’ve got to talk about it, and we’ve got to learn to understand and get as much information as we can about differences,” said New Hanover County Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Linda Thompson to a WECT reporter. “Bring the walls down so we can come together and have great conversations.”
The three books are Ruby’s Birds by Mya Thompson (for children eight and younger), Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla (for youth ages eight to 12), and The Home Place by J. Drew Lanham (for teens and adults).
“This is our first community-wide reading initiative through the Public Library, and we hope it inspires individuals of all ages and backgrounds to read one – or all – of these books,” said New Hanover County Public Library Director Paige Owens.
In addition to encouraging the community to read the books, they are also collaborating with the Arboretum and New Hanover County Parks and Gardens for events and activities outdoors. They will also have virtual author visits for residents to discuss each book with their authors starting in June.
All three books can be checked out at a New Hanover County Public Library. The Home Place and The Someday Birds are both available for immediate check out through Hoopla Digital (sign up for free with your library card). Residents can also place holds on the selected titles now by visiting libguides.nhcgov.com/RaC or searching the library catalog.
“Birding, connecting with nature, diversity, togetherness, and finding your identity are themes throughout all three books,” said Chief Diversity and Equity Officer Linda Thompson. “No matter your age, one of these books will resonate with you, make you think about what your “spark moment” is – as Ruby has in the book Ruby’s Birds, and think about your own life – your place of belonging, and how you can embrace those around you and be more inclusive. It is our hope that this initiative promotes the joy of reading, allows for even more open and honest dialogue, and creates a shared reading experience across our entire community to help bind us together.”
For more information on this initiative, click here.
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