It’s back, it’s bigger, and it’s all about the environment! The Pioneer Library System is excited to announce PLS Reads 2022, a systemwide initiative encouraging reading, conversation, and exploration throughout its communities. 

This year, PLS Reads features three books, all tied to a central theme of the environment, with each being highlighted in its own season. 

“By using three titles to help guide our exploration on the environment, we hope to encourage continuing interest and engagement with this topic throughout the entire year,” said Britt Muirhead, Programming Specialist with PLS.

The Spring title, “The Music of Bees” by Eileen Garvin, will see book discussions held across a number of PLS locations, including a May 10 hybrid discussion held simultaneously at the Noble Public Library and virtually, and led by Dr. James Hung, Heritage Biologist with the Oklahoma Biological Survey and Assistant Professor of Biology at OU.

Pioneer Library System is currently offering digital copies of our spring title for instant checkout from March 1 – June 16.   

Another key component of PLS Reads, Spark a Change events call residents to action and provide opportunities to explore our theme. The first three Spark a Change events took place in Newcastle, Shawnee, and Norman over Earth Day weekend, April 23-24.

Spark a Change: Let’s Talk about the Environment Featuring Eileen Garvin included an in-person conversation with the debut author, followed by hands-on activities led by Stephanie Jordan from Okies for Monarchs and the Oklahoma Nature Conservancy. An observational beehive was made available onsite, with additional activities offered at each event location, such as a Styrofoam recycling collection at the Newcastle Public Library.

“We’re excited to bring in authors and local experts to explore these topics and provide practical tips and strategies anyone can use to better support our great state and its natural resources,” said Ashley Welke, Director of Community Engagement & Learning for PLS. “What I love is that through these conversations and learning more, we each can make small changes that could have a big impact.”

The Summer title, “Nature’s Best Hope” will also offer community book discussions and Spark a Change events featuring author and conservationist Douglas Tallamy speaking on the importance of native plants, and activities led by Dr. Priscilla Crawford from the Oklahoma Biological Survey. Other summer events will include creek cleanup efforts across three PLS communities.

To celebrate and support the annual migration of monarch butterflies through Oklahoma, Barbara Kingsolver’s “Flight Behavior” will serve as the Fall title and final book of PLS Reads 2022, with events planned to foster further conversation and exploration.

Of the vision behind the year’s ambitious slate of activities, Muirhead said “Our goal with this year’s theme is to spark curiosity about the environment and inspire change in our perceptions and actions in relation to the world around us…Ultimately, we hope for this year’s PLS Reads initiative to bring our communities together for the benefit of all.”    

For more information on PLS Reads events, please visit our events calendar.