Penn College Students, Employees Participate in Local 'Big Read'

Published 03.01.2007


This design by Natalie A. Smith, a graphic design major from Williamsport, is among the original book-cover artwork in a Big Read competition. Students and employees at Pennsylvania College of Technology, a partner in Lycoming County Big Read 2007, are taking on projects to support the initiative.

The National Endowment for the Arts is funding the The Big Read in communities across the nation, aiming to rejuvenate interest in literary reading. For the program here, facilitated by the Lycoming County Library System/James V. Brown Library, Penn College and other Lycoming County partners will present activities related to Harper Lee's classic novel "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Penn College is planning projects on campus and off.

On March 24, during the college's Visitation Day, the Madigan Library will host "Talkin' the Blues." Billtown Blues Challenge winner (and Penn College alumnus) Jonah Gregory will play a set with David Lynn from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. From 1 to 2 p.m., Gregory will present a musical blues program focusing on artists from the 1930s, the era in which "To Kill a Mockingbird" is set.

On April 13, the Madigan Library will host a book discussion titled "In Search of Atticus." Attorneys Ken Hagreen and Brent Petrosky will discuss the ideal lawyer. The talk is scheduled from 10 to 11 a.m.

From noon to 1:30 p.m. on April 18, the library will host a book review of "To Kill a Mockingbird" over a brown-bag lunch.

Penn College faculty and staff members will also facilitate programs at area public libraries. College volunteers are William J. Astore, associate professor of history; Daniel J. Doyle, professor emeritus of history; Mary A. Doyle, part-time instructor of psychology; Eugene M. McAvoy, assistant professor of English-composition; Brad L. Nason, assistant professor of mass communications; Clifford P. Coppersmith, assistant dean of integrated studies; and Wendy A. Cunningham, documentation manager.

The Big Read is meant to address the national decline in literary reading as documented in the NEA's 2004 landmark survey "Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America," which showed that less than half of the American adult population reads literature.