The public library’s Big Read opening speech is scheduled for Friday, which will be delivered virtually


HIGH EARTH, Ind. (WTWO / WAWV) – As the Vigo County Public Library’s Big Read 2021 kicks off – the library is currently distributing copies of this year’s talking point, Emily St. John Mandel’s pandemic drama “Station 11” – the keynote speech is scheduled for Friday at 6.30 p.m.

This year’s Big Read keynote speaker is Dr. Laura Bates, professor of English at Indiana State University who wrote “Shakespeare Saved My Life” and taught Shakespeare in prisons. A Zoom link for the address is available on the library website.

Bates will discuss Shakespeare’s universal appeal and great reading in general. She will also answer questions from her virtual audience.

Sarah Trover, the library’s project and events manager, said the library is grateful for the technology that makes virtual speech possible.

“In a lot of ways we can actually have better participation and Dr Laura Bates is perfect because she’s teaching that way long before the pandemic we’re living in,” Trover said. “She’s really looking forward to engaging audiences, so it’s not necessarily a keynote that’s going to be completely passive either, so she’ll try to give some feedback as well. So it will be something that people can experience. ”

Trover added of Bates, “She really wants to have question-and-answer sessions as part of that, so she doesn’t want it to be just a lecture. She wants you to be able to ask questions and she wants to be back and forth.


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