KU News Release


March 30, 2011
Contact: Rebecca Smith, KU Libraries, 785-864-1761

KU Libraries to host Read Across Lawrence events

More Information

LAWRENCE — In support of the Lawrence Public Library’s annual “Read Across Lawrence” program, University of Kansas Libraries will host two screenings of the 1962 film adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and distribute free copies of the book.

The Harper Lee novel is this year’s choice for the Read Across Lawrence program, which encourages Lawrence residents to read the same book and discuss it during the month of April.

Campus screenings of the film will be from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 5, in Watson Library, and from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, April 18, at Woodruff Auditorium in the Kansas Union. Both events are free and open to the public.

“We hope to engage the university more actively in collaboration with the community, and this program fulfills many of the same goals for students and community members alike,” said Roberta Woods, conservation assistant and co-chair of the Read Across Lawrence committee for KU Libraries. “This is a story about how justice is influenced by the opinions of the majority, which is something students are just beginning to realize for themselves.”

KU Libraries will also distribute 250 free copies of the book at the service desks of Watson and Anschutz libraries starting April 4. Those who pick up a free copy are encouraged to pass it along to a friend or bring it back to the library to share with another reader, expanding the reach of the program.

“For many people, this won’t be their first time reading the book, but what makes this a great piece of literature is that readers can take away various messages at different points in their lives,” said Kathy Lafferty, KU library assistant and co-chair of the committee. “People of all ages can pick up this book with fresh eyes and grasp an entirely different set of themes. That opens the door for some very interesting discussions, which is the whole point of the program.”

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” tells the story of Scout and Jem Finch, their adventures growing up in a small Alabama town submerged in violent prejudice and the lessons they learn from their father Atticus, a lawyer attempting to defend a black man accused of rape. Celebrated for addressing issues of class, race and gender with an uncommon compassion, the book is widely taught in schools.

For more information, visit the Read Across Lawrence site.


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