A New Big Read Starts In DeKalb County With a Caribbean Flavor


The Big Read Steering Committee kicked-off the 2015-2016 Big Read of DeKalb County with a Dominican Festival at the DeKalb Public Library on February 27.  The community will be reading and celebrating “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez during the month of March. Big Read of DeKalb County and the Friends of the NIU Libraries are proud to announce the visit of Julia Alvarez to DeKalb to culminate another amazing year.

Starting off with an opening ceremony given by the Dominican Republic consulate, Dr. Castillo, the Festival hosted a Caribbean cooking demonstration, a ballet folklorico dance presentation, merengue dance classes, and crafts and other activities for children and families. This fest was free and open to the entire community!

The keynote event for the month is the appearance of Julia Alvarez at the DeKalb Public Library on Tuesday, March 22 at 6:00 p.m. She will also visit the DeKalb High School to inspire the entire senior class and to talk about her novel. Another event to note will be the “In the Time of the Butterflies” movie will show at the Egyptian Theatre on Saturday, March 12th at 2:00 p.m. Merengue classes will teach people how to move like the Big Read books will be distributed at this event and all the Big Read events throughout March. Visit www.dkpl.org for a complete list of all the Big Read activities.


The Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The library is one of 77 nonprofit organizations in the nation to receive a grant to host a Big Read project and one of three organizations to have received it nine years in a row. The Big Read Steering Committee meets to plan and organize all of the events. The committee includes the library, Altrusa International of DeKalb/Sycamore, School District #428, Kishwaukee College Family Literacy Program, and Northern Illinois University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences External Programming, the NIU Latino Resources Center, and the Honorary Chairman, Representative Bob Pritchard.

The Big Read provides communities nationwide with the opportunity to read, discuss, and celebrate one of 36 selections from U.S. and world literature. The 77 selected organizations will receive Big Read grants to promote and carry out community-based reading programs featuring activities such as read-a-thons, book discussions, lectures, movie screenings, and performing arts events. This grant is a matching grant, therefore, the library does have to raise the equal amount given in funding to support The Big Read program.

For more information about The Big Read, contact edithc@dkpl.org or call 815-756-9568 ext. 260 or visit dkpl.org. The DeKalb Public Library is open seven days a week and is located at 309 Oak Street in DeKalb.