Urbandale Public Library/The Great American Read

Over the next few months, the Library is  hosting a variety of public programs, special events, and activities in support of  The Great American Read initiative and to celebrate the stories we love!  We hope you’ll join us!


Series Watch Parties

The Library helped kick off the series with a special watch party for Episode #1 on May 22.  Please join us here at the Library for additional watch parties as the series unfolds this fall!  Refreshments will be served.  Click here for the complete schedule.


Life Stories Memoir Program

Did a special book impact your life?   What was your favorite book as a kid?  Let’s write about it!  Inspired by The Great American Read initiative, join us for a special 90-minute session of the Life Stories Memoir Program focused on capturing your memories of your favorite books.  We’ll spend time reviewing The Great American Read list of 100 Best-Loved Books in America, reminisce about our memories of those and other favorite books, discuss the joys of reading, and record those memories into short memoirs to share with future generations.  You’ll also have a chance to have your photo taken with your favorite book from the 100 Best-Loved Books in America list!  (If your favorite book isn’t on the list, please bring a copy with you!)

Two sessions offered – join us for one or both!


“Is the Book Better than the Movie?” Film and Book Discussions

From August – October, we’re featuring  movies that have been made out of books from The Great American Read list of 100 favorite books.  Many of the showings will be followed by a facilitated discussion.

Click here for the complete schedule.


Vote for your favorite book!

Most importantly, it’s time to vote!  This summer and fall, readers across the country are encouraged to vote for their favorite book from The Great American Read list of 100 most-loved books.  You can place one vote for each book per voting method every day, so go ahead and vote for all of your favorite books!  Learn about the ways you can vote here.

Cast your vote here at the Library! A voting station will be available at:


All Urbandale Reads

This summer, we introduced our first-ever All Urbandale Reads program in which all community members are encouraged to read the same book and join in on a public book discussion.  We selected “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith, which is on the The Great American Read” list of 100 favorite books.  Read the official All Urbandale Reads proclamation.  Learn more about All Urbandale Reads here.




About The Great American Read

A partnership between the American Library Association and PBS, “The Great American Read: is an eight-part TV series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love.  Hosted by television personality and journalist Meredith Vieira, “The Great American Read” will engage audiences with a list of America’s 100 favorite books,  encouraging audiences to read the books, vote from the list of 100, and share their personal connections to the title.  All of the 100 favorite books can be found in the Urbandale Public Library’s collection.


Our programming for The Great American Read is offered as part of a grant from the American Library Association and PBS.  The Urbandale Public Library is proud to have been  awarded a grant from the American Library Association (ALA) and PBS to host programs around “The Great American Read,” initiative.   More than 220 public libraries applied for the $2,000 grants, which support public programs around the series.  The Urbandale Public Library was one of just 50 libraries nationwide to be selected.  Click here to read our press release announcing this great news!