Appalachian Regional Library will receive a grant from the American Library Association and the Public Broadcasting Service  to host programs in conjunction with “The Great American Read,” an eight-part television series and multi-platform initiative that celebrates the joy of reading and the books we love.

The Great American Read programming grant gives communities an opportunity to be part of a national conversation about the power of literature to inform and shape the lives of all Americans.

More than 220 public libraries applied for the $2,000 grants, which will support public programs around the series. Appalachian Regional Library – which includes the public libraries in Ashe, Watauga and Wilkes counties – was one of just 50 libraries nationwide to be selected.

In addition to the grant money, Appalachian Regional Library will receive a DVD collection of the series with public performance rights; a hardcover copy of the companion book, “The Great American Read: The Book of Books” by PBS and other resources.

The libraries will also have the opportunity to host “sneak peek” screenings of the series premiere and five theme episodes before they broadcast to the public.

The library’s programming for “The Great American Read” will kick off at 1 p.m. on May 19 with events at each of the main libraries in Boone, North Wilkesboro, and West Jefferson, where the names of the top 100 books will be announced, voting will begin, and attendees will get a sneak peek of the two-hour PBS premiere. Refreshments will be served.

For more information about this and other events, visit www.arlibrary.org.