PLS Big Read looks to "Five Skies"

Five Skies coverFor a 12th consecutive year, the Pioneer Library System will be celebrating literature with its PLS Big Read, inspired by the National Endowment for the Arts’ initiative, The Big Read.

The Big Read is a celebration of literature started by the NEA as a way for communities to get together for activities centered around classic literature. The featured book selected by PLS representatives for this year is Five Skies by Ron Carlson.

The Blanchard Public Library will host a scholar-led discussion of the book at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 27, with a light meal served for attendees prior to the talk on the book. Leading the discussion will be scholr Ken Hada, Professor at East Central University, who has aided PLS on multiple past editions of The Big Read.

Copies of the book are available from the library’s front desk.

Carlson is a longtime and award-winning short story writer who wrote Five Skies after a break of about 30 years from novel writing. It tells the story of three men from different backgrounds brought together for a summer construction project in the Rocky Mountains. It builds a story from how their collective pasts intertwine.

The NEA has funded five Big Read projects for PLS:  The Grapes of Wrath in 2007; Bless Me, Ultima in 2008; The Maltese Falcon in 2010, Old School in 2013 and A Wizard of Earthsea in 2015. PLS Big Reads produced solely with state and local funding include were To Kill a Mockingbird in 2009; The Things They Carried in 2011, The Joy Luck Club in 2012, True Grit in 2014, Fahrenheit 451 in 2016, Being Mortal in 2017 and this year’s project.

Sponsors for this year’s activities are the Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation, Norman Arts Council, Pioneer Library System Foundation and the Pioneer Library System.

Get a gardening lesson in teen activity

PlantThe Blanchard Public Library takes teens into the garden for a lesson in its activity "Grow Already," from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Teens will get to grow their gardening skills in a program where they'll learn fun facts about gardening while directly working with seeds and dirt. Participants will get to take some of their planted seeds home after the program.

Space and supplies are limited, so registration in advance is required to attend.

Sharpen your photography skills at workshop

PLS Big Read logoLocal residents will get a chance to sharpen their photography skills at an upcoming Blanchard Public Library workshop.

The library presents a Photography Basics workshop at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, for ages 18 and up. The class goes over basic skills and concepts for photography, including taking phones with smartphones and useful Apps to try.

Participants also will have a chance to enter the PLS Big Read Photo Contest, taking place during February and part of the library’s annual PLS Big Read.

Topics for photos mirror those explored in the selected PLS Big Read novel Five Skies by Ron Carlson. They include good work, nature, guilt, mercy, friendship/relationship and building/rebuilding.

Registration in advance is required to attend the workshop.

Start your kids' week off on a good note

Humpty DumptyThe Blanchard Public Library gives young readers and families two opportunities to experience the library on Mondays through program opportunities.

Family Story Time takes place at 10:30 a.m. on each Monday of the month, on Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26.

The story times include songs, rhymes, flannel board fun, music and bubble time, as well as sensory activities and craft projects. The story times are funded through the Oklahoma Department of Libraries with funds from the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), a federal source of library funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Service.

Bow-Wow Books, the library’s offering for young readers to read with a therapy dog, is scheduled from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Mondays, Feb. 5, 12, 19 and 26. Parents or caregivers may schedule a 15-minute timeslot for their child to read by calling the library in advance at 485-2275.