The Big Read Comes to Alachua County

The Alachua County Library District is hosting more than 25 free events in April as part of The Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. The local program will celebrate Ursula K. Le Guin’s “A Wizard of Earthsea,” the foremother to work like the Harry Potter series. For more information on The Big Read, visit or Below is an abridged list of this month’s events.

April 11, 4:30p.m. – The World of Ursula K. LeGuin: A roundtable discussion on the legacy of Le Guin’s books featuring Meredith Ann Pierce, Stephanie Smith, Tace Hedrick, Michelle Harris and Arwen Curry. This event will take place at the Ustler Center for Women’s Studies and Gender on UF’s campus, and is co-sponsored by the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research and the Department of English at UF.

April 12 at 6p.m. and April 13 at 4p.m. – Filmmaker Arwen Curry will speak about and share clips of her documentary “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin,” which is currently in the works. Thursday’s event on April 12 will take place at 6p.m. at the Library Headquarters (401 E. University Ave. in Gainesville); Friday’s event on April 13 will take place at 4p.m. at the Tower Branch Library (3020 SW 75th St. in Gainesville).

April 13, 1p.m. – Arwen Curry will talk about her documentary “Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin” on Conner Calling, WUFT Classic 89.1 FM. Call or email your questions in to 352-392-8989 or

April 16, 6p.m. – Google Books: Why Ursula LeGuin and Other Authors are Concerned. Google’s wholesale digitization of books for its Google Books has created a great deal of controversy. Authors who feel that their copyright interests are being violated have struck back with a major lawsuit. The discussion, led by law librarian and copyright specialist Jennifer Wondracek, will look at both sides of the issue and the progress of the court case. The discussion will take place at the UF Law School in the Chesterfield Smith Classroom, Holland Hall, Room 180.

April 23, 6p.m. – Le Guin & Rome: Classics professor Jennifer Rea will be discussing Le Guin’s novel “Lavinia,” which was inspired by Vergil’s “Aeneid” and tells the story of Rome’s foundation. The discussion will take place at the Library Headquarters (401 E. University Ave. in Gainesville).

April 26, 7p.m. – Civic Media Center Book Talk: Join a group discussion about Le Guin books and her politics at the CMC (433 S. Main St. in Gainesville).

April 27, 5:30p.m. – Entering and Leaving Fantasy’s Wild Lands at Wild Iris Books: Chat with fellow readers who love traveling into the fantastical worlds created by Le Guin. Refreshments can be purchased at Café Collette, and local musicians will help us celebrate a month’s worth of The Big Read in our community. Wild Iris Books is located at 802 W. University Ave. in Gainesville.

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