NEA Big Read: New Castle County
New Castle County Libraries is thrilled to bring the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Big Read Program to our community. The program will feature the graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui. An American Book Award winner, a National Book Critics Circle finalist in autobiography, and an Eisner Award finalist in reality-based comics, Bui documents her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Việt Nam in the 1970s and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves in America.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. It is designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Between September 2023 and March 2024, New Castle County Libraries will offer a series of free lectures, art programs, book discussions, and events including a visit from author and illustrator Thi Bui. The programs will explore themes around identity, displacement and assimilation, race and immigration, memory, and historical movements.
FAQ FOR NEA BIG READ PROGRAMMING
When will NEA Big Read: New Castle County programming happen?
How can My Book Group Request Copies of The Best We Could Do?
Do I have to read the book in order to attend spring events?
What kind of programming is planned?
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
NEA Big Read: Kickoff Craft
Multiple Library Branches - Sat., Sept. 2, 2023
Visit your local public library for a make-and-take craft based on the picture book, A Different Pond by Bao Phi (Author) and Thi Bui (Illustrator). Libraries will also have a limited number of copies of A Different Pond to giveaway.
An Evening With Author Thi Bui:
Thurs., Feb. 22, 2024 @ 7 pm
Author and illustrator Thi Bui will discuss her work. Author signing to follow.
Community and Culture:
Traditional Fan Dance
Route 9 Library - Sun., Nov. 12 @ 1:30 pm
The University of Pennsylvania Vietnamese Student Association presents a traditional fan dance. All ages.
What We Keep
Appoquinimink Library - Mon., Oct. 16, 2023 @ 10:30 am / Tues., Feb. 13, 2024 @ 2 pm
Claymont Library - Wed., Sept. 20, 2023 @ 1 pm
Route 9 Library - Wed., Nov. 1, 2023 @ 6:30 pm
Share the history and personal story behind your sentimental personal belongings.
Protest Music of the 1960s & 1970s
Appoquinimink Library - Sat., Feb. 17, 2024 @ 6:30 pm
Claymont Library - Wed., Jan. 24, 2024 @ 1 pm
Route 9 Library - Tues., Nov. 7, 2023 @ 6:30 pm
Woodlawn Library - Wed., Oct. 4, 2023 @ 6:30 pm
Learn about the counterculture of the 1960s and 70s and how music provided a means to communicate complicated issues around race, politics, sexuality, and the environment.
Know Your Rights
Bear Library - Sat., Mar. 16, 2024 @ 11 am
Claymont Library - Thurs., Nov. 9, 2023 @ 6 pm
Join the ACLU for a workshop reviewing what your rights are, how to exercise them, and what to do when your rights are violated.
Intro to Graphic Novels
Brandywine Hundred Library - Mon., Sept. 11 - Mon., Oct. 2 @ 6:30 pm
Learn the basics of how to create a graphic novel using pencil, paper, and digital mediums.
Hand-Built Ceramic Tile
Route 9 Library - Wed., Jan. 10, 2024 @ 6:30 pm
Explore basic hand-building pottery techniques like slab, coil, and pinching. Use these techniques to create your own water-themed tile inspired by this year’s Big Read book.
Comic Portrait Canvas Painting
Hockessin Library - Wed., Jan. 24, 2024 @ 6:00 pm
Spend an evening learning introductory painting techniques and apply them to a painting inspired by this year’s Big Read book The Best We Could Do.
Appoquinimink Library - Wed., Jan. 24 - Wed., Feb 7 @ 6:00 pm
Take a special event from your life (real or imagined) and learn how to transform it into your own mini-illustrated memoir.
Make Your Own Zine
Route 9 Library - Tues., Jan. 23, 2024 @ 6:30 pm
Join artist, Nanci Hersh, to explore your creativity through drawing, collage, and book arts. Workshop participants will create their own unique folded books / zines using paper collage and colored markers to illustrate or tell a story.
Story Mapping with Sarena Joy
Route 9 Library - Tues., Jan. 9 & 16, 2024 @ 6:30 pm
Create a "map" of important events in your life that led you to where you are today.
History and Genealogy:
Building and Understanding Family Trees
Zoom - Tues., Oct. 17, 2023 @ 6 pm
Finding Records to Aid in Your Research
Zoom - Tues., Nov. 14, 2023 @ 6 pm
DNA and its use in genealogical research presentation
Zoom - Tues., Jan. 16, 2024 @ 6 pm
Ethnicity and Migration
Zoom - Tues., Feb. 13, 2024 @ 6 pm
The Vietnam War and the Black Power Protest
Hockessin Library - Wed., Sept. 30 @ 11 am
Route 9 Library - Sat., Oct. 21 @ 11 am
In the mid-1960’s the African-American Civil Rights Movement morphed into a protest against the Vietnam War. This presentation samples the actual speeches given by these great civil rights leaders.
Preserving War Letters
Elsmere Library - Mon., Nov. 6, 2023 @ 10:30 am
Learn how—and how not—to safeguard letters from our Delaware troops at war in this lively, interactive program by award-winning journalist Nancy E. Lynch who received nearly 1,000 letters from the frontlines of the Vietnam War for her popular newspaper column.
Appoquinimink Library - Tues., Nov. 7, 2023 @ 2pm
Ms. Lynch discusses and reads selected war letters from her book, Vietnam Mailbag, Voices From the War: 1968-1972, based on her popular newspaper column, “Nancy’s Vietnam Mailbag.”
University of Delaware Art Conservation:
Preserving Family Treasures with the University of Delaware Art Conservation
Kirkwood Library - Tues., Oct. 10, 2023 @ 6:30 pm
Bear Library - Sat., Jan. 20, 2024 @ 10 am
Brandywine Hundred Library - Tues., Feb. 6, 2024 @ 5:30 pm
Library Book Clubs:
Join a library book club to discuss The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui
Join a storytime focusing on Family, Immigration, & Identity! This storytime is inspired by the NEA Big Read program which highlights the graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui.
New Castle County Library Staff: Catherine Wimberley, Scott Businsky, Alysia Vanlooy, Marissa Parker, and Teresa Jones
New Castle County Art Studio: Nicole Sexton
Appoquinmink School District: Lisa Ali-Turner (Coordinator of Instructional Programs)
Colonial School District: Tom Gavin (Supervisor, Educational Technology & Libraries)
Red Clay Consolidated School District: Julie Rumschlag (Supervisor of Unified Arts), Holly Golder (Supervisor of Social Studies), Erin Sullivan (Social Studies Teacher)
University of Delaware Art Conservation: Dr. Joelle Wickens and Anisha Gupta
YWCA Delaware: Rebecca Cotto (Director of Racial & Social Justice)
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.