The Great Read 2018

This year’s community read focuses on the life and lasting legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, social activist in the Civil Rights movement and the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. By attending any of our Great Read program, or by reading a MLK, Jr. book during the month of February, you can enter our drawing to win a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card! To enter, complete this entry form for each book you read, and be sure to fill out a paper entry form at any of our events listed below. All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28. 

In the spirit of giving and peace, please bring canned goods or supplies to The Great Read Kickoff or Finale to benefit Bags of Hope, Morningstar Mission of Joliet and St. John Food Pantry. For more information, visit

All of the events listed below are drop in and do not require registration. 

The Great Read Kickoff
Thursday, February 1, 6–8 p.m.

White Oak Library, Romeoville
Many people only think of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a passionate Civil Rights leader and are unfamiliar with his upbringing as a young boy growing up in the south. Professional storyteller Linda Gorham will tell the story of Dr. King's youthful experience with segregation that likely inspired him and gave him the impetus to march, write and speak out so that the laws in the United States could be changed to protect all people.

The Great Read Finale
Wednesday, February 28, 6 p.m.

Joliet Public Library, Black Road Branch
Vocal artist, songwriter and educator Maggie Brown will perform songs linked to and inspired by the Civil Rights movement and Dr. King's impact and legacy. The winners of The Great Read Art Contest will be announce, and there will be refreshments and book giveaways, while supplies last. 

The Great Read Art Contest
Now–Wednesday, February 14

Create an original piece of art inspired by the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Submit your artwork along with an entry form at our Information Desk by February 14 for a chance to win a $50 Barnes & Noble gift card. Entries can be any medium (limit 24" in height and width, a weight limit of five pounds or length of 2.5 minutes). Click here for official Art Contest rules and to download an entry form. Entry forms can also be obtained at the 1st Floor Information Desk. 

Great Read Events at Fountaindale

"Selma" Movie Showing
Thursday, February 15, 6 p.m.

This film chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights by marching from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in 1965. (PG-13; run time 128 minutes)

The History Channel's "King" Movie Showing
Thursday, February 22, 6 p.m.

A History Channel documentary that takes a look at Martin Luther King, Jr. It goes beyond the myth to discover the man. (This film is not rated; run time: 94 minutes.)

I Have a Dream Craft
Saturday, February 24, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Kids can stop by Children's Services to make a craft inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

The Poetic Storyteller: Oba William King
Sunday, February 25, 2–3 p.m.

Oba William King is a nationally known storyteller whose stories, songs and drums have drawn rave reviews from audiences of all ages and cultures. His lively interactive presentation will delight your whole family. All ages welcome. 


The Great Read logo
The Great Read was created in 2004 to promote literacy, reading, conversation and community. This year’s Great Read is proudly presented by Fountaindale Public Library, Plainfield School District 202, Plainfield Public Library, Joliet Public Library, Shorewood-Troy Public Library, White Oak Library District, Lemont Public Library and Joliet Junior College.