The ALA Public Programs Office announced five new reading and discussion themes based on the popular “Let’s Talk About It” model and inspired by the National Endowment for the Humanities’ (NEH) Picturing America collection. The “Let’s Talk About It: Picturing America” series has been developed to support public libraries in their efforts to conduct high-quality humanities programs that highlight the Picturing America collection, and to engage audiences in dynamic, timely conversations about American art and history.
The “Let’s Talk About It” model engages adult audiences in scholar-led, theme based discussions that explore the best in classic and contemporary literature. “Let’s Talk About It: Picturing America” offers five new themes:
- Places in the Heart, which highlights human experience shaped by place;
- Land of Opportunity, which explores American journeys in literature;
- Making Tracks, which focuses on railroads in America;
- The Work of Freedom: Individual and Communal, which explores African American history through literature; and
- Object of Art, which examines image in American Indian literature.
Reading lists, a comprehensive program planning guide, and thematic descriptions for the “Let’s Talk About It: Picturing America” themes are now available at Picturing America for Public Libraries. Scholarly essays and additional recommended reading lists will be added to the site to enhance discussion of five new themes this spring.
If your public library has received the Picturing America collection, don’t forget to apply for a programming grant that can be used for “Let’s Talk About It: Picturing America” and other related programming.