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We're happy to announce that the Burlington County Library System has been awarded the NEA Big Read grant for the second year in a row!

BCLS is one of only 75 non-profit organizations across the county to be awarded a 2017-2018 NEA Big Read grant. We are excited to host our programs in March 2018 to celebrate Julia Alvarez's In the Time of the Butterflies, a novel that explores the story of a nation through the voices of four sisters in the Dominican Republic. The story spans decades as each sister shares her own story, from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and leading the opposition to General Rafael Leonidas Trujillo's dictatorship. Alvarez shares the important tale of Las Mariposas, "The Butterflies," in this novel of courage and love, and the human cost of political oppression.

Since 2006, the National Endowment for the Arts has funded more than 1,400 NEA Big Read programs nationwide. With a goal of bringing contemporary works to communities across the country, the library is the perfect fit for this type of initiative. Big Read programs, like those held at BCLS locations, help readers broaden their understanding of the world, their communities, and themselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Participants get to explore the work of diverse authors by joining in discussions at book clubs and celebrating the themes of these stories with different events held each day.

Visit the NEA's website to learn more about the Big Read grant.