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Big Read underway at library
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The Big Read begins today at the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library.

This year’s featured title is “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury.

“The Big Read is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture,” said Miranda Nighbor of the Manteca Branch Library.

The Big Read is made possible by a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum, Friends of the Stockton Public Library, and the Library & Literacy Foundation for San Joaquin County.

The community is encouraged to come to the library during the month-long program to check out a copy of the title and pick up a free reader’s guide and audio CD.

“We have partnered with the Manteca Fire Department for a special event titled ‘Fire Trucks, Firefighters, and Fire Safety,’” said Nighbor, referencing May the 13 event at 4 p.m. in the Library Park.

“We recently partnered with the Federated Women’s Club to read the selected title,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Cesar Chavez Central Library at 605 N. El Dorado St., Stockton, has several Big Read events, including:

•The Ray Bradbury Far-out Film Festival (6 p.m., Monday, April 27; May 4, 11 & 18). Movies consist of Bradbury’s work, from serious to the ‘far out,’ and is suitable for family viewing.

•Simon Wood, award-winning author of “We All Fall Down” (2 p.m., Saturday, May 9). An Anthony Award-winning author of four books and 150 published stories and articles, Wood will speak about “Fahrenheit 451” and how the book ranks in the Sci-fi genre.

•Dr. John Moreaty, activist and author of “Walking to Omega: Tales of a Peacenik Carpenter” (6 p.m., Wednesday, May 13). His talk offers ‘tips for tenacious thinkers’ and his discussion ‘keeping the mind alive in an age of wall-to-wall TV,’ will be followed by a short film, “A Conversation with Ray Bradbury.”

•Todd Borg, author of “Tahoe Blowup” (2 p.m., Saturday, May 23). He will talk about his book and others available for sales and a signing by the author.

•Kenneth Ackerman, author of “J. Edgar Hoover, the Red Scare, and the Assault of Civil Liberties” (7 p.m., Friday, May 29). His discussion on civil liberties and intellectual freedom is the major theme of Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451.”

The Big Read concludes on May 30.

The Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library is made up of the Cesar Chavez Central Library and four branch libraries in Stockton, as well as libraries in Escalon, Lathrop, Linden, Mountain House, Ripon, Thornton and Manteca.

The Manteca branch is located at 320 W. Center St.

For more information on the Big Read, call toll-free at (866) 805-READ.