In spring of 2021, Chillicothe Public Library will host our second NEA Big Read: a one-book-one-community project featuring discussions and programs centered on the memoir Lab Girl, by geobiologist Hope Jahren.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. Chillicothe Public Library is one of 78 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2019 and June 2020. The NEA presents NEA Big Read in partnership with Arts Midwest.
Click here for a full listing of discussions and programs with registration links. All events are free, open to the public, and will take place virtually via Zoom, unless otherwise noted. During in-person outdoor programs, masks must be worn over the nose and mouth when unable to maintain a 6’ distance from others. If you have interpretation needs for an event (ex., American Sign Language), please call 309-274-2719 at least two weeks in advance, and we’ll do our best to provide accommodations.
Herbarium: A Library for Plants
March 8 – May 1
Visit the library to view this exhibit curated by Forest Park Nature Center, which holds a collection of thousands of preserved plant specimens, many collected in the late 1800s through the early 1900s by Virginius Chase, a botanist from Peoria Heights, IL. Herbariums can be critical to understanding an area’s ecology, past and present, in a time of rapid change and habitat destruction. QR codes posted throughout the exhibit link to videos for a virtual docent tour of the exhibit. Can’t make it to the library? Browse the exhibit videos here.
Immerse yourself in forests around the world and brush up on your scientific knowledge. Click here for a list of films and how to access them.
Click here for book suggestions for all ages that share similar themes with Lab Girl.
Plant a Tree!
When you plant a tree, you plant not only a beautiful source of future shade, food, clean air, and water, but also a world for the many species that will build their lives in, around, above, and below that tree. Reserve a tree by April 23 to plant during our community-wide Tree-Planting Extravaganza on May 1!
Get your hands dirty at these volunteer workdays in the Chillicothe area! Click here for information.
Kids can enjoy picture books about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, selected and read by women working in these fields. Find the videos on our YouTube channel.
Bring home a bit of science fun! Click here to find out more about the activity kits.
Our friends at Morton Public Library are reading Lab Girl, too! Their NEA Big Read runs April-May. See what programs and events they’re offering at mortonlibrary.org/bigread.
About the book:
This is a nature lover’s story about digging in dirt and discovering new things about old growth. It’s a scientist’s story about running experiments, wondering, asking for funds, and fending off doubt. It’s a Midwesterner’s story of moving to new places and noticing the differences. It’s a girl’s story about becoming what she wants to be. And it’s a woman’s story about fighting stereotypes, sacrificing, feeling vulnerable, trusting in friendship, getting sick, getting help, finding love, and writing it all down. Learn more
About the author:
Hope Jahren is an award-winning scientist who has been pursuing independent research in paleobiology since 1996, when she completed her PhD at University of California Berkeley and began teaching and researching first at the Georgia Institute of Technology and then at Johns Hopkins University. She is the recipient of three Fulbright Awards and is one of four scientists, and the only woman, to have been awarded both of the Young Investigator Medals given within the Earth Sciences. She was a tenured professor at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu from 2008 to 2016, where she built the Isotope Geobiology Laboratories, with support from National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health. She currently holds the J. Tuzo Wilson professorship at the University of Oslo, Norway. Learn more
Don’t miss Dr. Jahren’s live virtual keynote address on April 17! RSVP at bit.ly/3rij4L8.