Saturday, October 15

Flowood READS hits the ground running!

But community help is still needed to make it a success. 


The Flowood Library's program, Flowood READS, has started. Consisting of 3 contests and four interactive programs, the library has developed a "City Wide Book Experience" that focuses on more than traditional literacy. 

"Flowood READS is a project that is modeled after the American Library Association's One Book, One Community program - it was designed to fold literacy into community engagement. I personally see it as a way to connect with those who aren't big readers; I see it as a way to showcase how the library is a community center rather than a repository for old books." Ashley Biggs, Branch Manager said. 

The library launched Flowood READS earlier this year with a host of Facebook contests - all of which had cash prizes awarded for the winners. Then on September 1st, the library launched the first of three in-person contests that encouraged artists to submit their own movie or book poster that would then be displayed for the public to vote on. 

The second contest, Peculiar Art, however, has already begun to gain speed. "We started out with 25 packs of "found" pieces that artists need to incorporate into their own artwork. That started on October 1st. By October 5th, we had given away 15 of the packs to those who wanted to submit their work for public vote." Biggs said.  "We're really looking forward to displaying the creative pieces."

Also this month, the library is hosting a Peculiar Photos program where attendees will be shown how to manipulate their own photographs to be similar to the odd photos found in both the book and movie. Those wanting to participate visit the library by October 26th, have their picture taken in front of the library's green screen, and then return to the library on October 29th to edit the photos using the library's mobile computer lab. 

"We've already had a lot of fun with this," Biggs said. "My staff and I have already started playing with the software and have come up with some weird photos! The way it will work is that we snap your picture using the library's camera and then on October 29th, you come back and we'll show you how to insert yourself into a 'peculiar' background, how to give yourself some form of a supernatural ability, and after it's all over, we'll upload them to Facebook for everyone to see." 

But that's not all. They have also planned a magic program around Mississippi's own Dorian LaChance, a short story contest and awards program, and finally a mini carnival, complete with a book talk. 

"The second book in the series takes place, at least in part, during a carnival. We thought having a carnival like program would be a great way to segue from one book to the other." Biggs said."We had hoped to have the funds to really make the capstone event, the carnival, pop, but that hasn't happened. We're relying heavily on donations - both in kind and financial." To her great delight, a few local companies have stepped in to assist in making the program happen. "We've been blessed with help from Cups of Flowood, the Flowood Chamber, Dorian LaChance, the Flowood Compass, and the Friends of the Library."

But there's still a lot more work to do, Biggs emphasized. "We're just a few short weeks away, and as excited as we are, and as important as this program is, we simply cannot make it happen without the support of the community."

"We want this to become an annual program, much like summer reading. We have already started a vote for next year's theme," Biggs said. "It's between James BondSherlock Holmes, and The Martian. So far, Sherlock is winning." The vote is on the Flowood READS Facebook page, and will be republished in November. 

All events that the library hosts are FREE and open to the public, and the programs associated with Flowood READS are no exception.

For more information about the program, the library encourages you to visit the website: and their Facebook page,

If you are interested in helping with or volunteering at any of the library's events, you're encouraged to email the Branch Manager:

For more information about Flowood READS:
Ashley Biggs, Branch Manager
G. Chastaine Flynt Memorial Library
601-919-1911 | 

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