Oklahoma author part of PBS Great American Read and Stillwater Public Library program

Media Release

Join the Stillwater Public Library for a special “Let’s Talk About It, Oklahoma” (LTAI) program celebrating the PBS series, “The Great American Read.” The library program focuses on “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison and books are now available at the Help Desk.

“Our usual LTAI programs include five books covering a specific theme,” said Stacy DeLano, adult services librarian. “Oklahoma Humanities and Oklahoma Department of Libraries created special, one book programs so that in October library readers can take part in the PBS vote for the favorite American book. We chose ‘Invisible Man’ because of the author’s link to Oklahoma.”

The Great American Read is a celebration of the books Americans love to read. In the Spring, PBS broadcasted its kick-off show and unveiled a list of America’s 100 best-loved novels. The kick-off will be re-shown on Sept. 11 on television, followed by five weeks of programming highlighting the titles on the list. During this time, readers can visit pbs.org/greatamericanread to vote on their own favorites. The series culminates on Oct. 23 with a finale announcing the top ten favorite books.

The books list includes everything from classics like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Great Gatsby” to recent hits like “The Help” and the “Twilight” saga. “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton is the second Oklahoma-related book on the list.

Author Ralph Ellison was born in Oklahoma City, where he lived until his admittance into the Tuskegee Institute in 1933. In the late 1940s, Ellison began writing his masterpiece about a 1930s black man’s travels and adventures from the south to Harlem. The novel, “Invisible Man,” was published in 1952, became an instant classic and was named the National Book Award winner.

Readers who register for the library’s program can borrow a copy of the novel and receive a checklist of the Great American Reads. On Thursday, Sept. 27, at 6:30 p.m., OSU professor Andrew Belton will present the book, explaining its themes and history and the story of the author’s life and experience writing. Afterward, readers will break into small groups to discuss the book and enjoy refreshments provided by the Friends of the Library.

Community partners for the “Invisible Man” program include Stillwater Community United, OSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

The program is provided by Oklahoma Humanities and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries through partnership with PBS and OETA. Books are provided by Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma and Friends of the Oklahoma Center for the Book. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the program sponsors.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the Stillwater Public Library web site at library.stillwater.org, call 405-372-3633 x8106, or email askalibrarian@stillwater.org.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are MondayThursday9 a.m. to 9 p.m.Friday and Saturday9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.