Thursday, February 7, 2008

The NEA contacted me about this blog!

It seems that my ranting is somewhat getting through! Hurray for the Internet! Anyway, I am glad the the NEA has been taking the issue of the decline in reading seriously. Their efforts should be congratulated by all book lovers.

Dear Jenn Brissett:

Hi. I happened to come across your recent blog entries on the NEA report To Read or Not To Read. First, thanks for your sincere concern and engagement with the issues raised by the report. I just wanted to clarify that I share your sense of urgency about the declines reported in that study...

You asked for action. The NEA has partnered with the Institute of Museum & Library Services to sponsor The Big Read, a national initiative aimed at restoring reading to the center of American cultural life. (See for more details.) Although the program has thrived in hundreds of towns and cities, we are ready to concede that it is a partial solution, considering the scope of the problem.

Best wishes,


Sunil Iyengar
Director, Research & Analysis
National Endowment for the Arts

Though I must say that what they are doing will not solve the reading problems that the US is experiencing, at least they recognize that this is something to be concerned about and are sounding the alarm to the best of their ability. This is the first that I've heard about "The Big Read" program that they've initiated. Maybe if I had heard of it before I may had tried to initiate a program here in NYC (as it is I only found one library in Manhattan participating). It is too late now since the grant application date is Feb 12. That being said, I think that it is a good idea that should be continued and hopefully will get more publicity and more participation (and more books to choose from).


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