Local organizations awarded funds to host ‘The Year We Left Home’ community read

Versailles, IN—The Ripley County Reads Community Partners are once again joining forces to host community reading events in 2020.  The partnership consists of the Batesville Memorial Public Library, Osgood Public Library, Tyson Library, and the Ripley County Tourism Bureau.  Each individual library has been awarded a Community Read grant of $750 from Indiana Humanities to participate in a statewide read of Jean Thompson’s “The Year We Left Home.”  Twenty-eight other communities and students at 4 Indiana colleges will be reading the book as part of “One State / One Story:  The Year We Left Home.” 

Each of the three libraries will host at least three community programs tied to the theme of the book during 2020.  The libraries also received 50 books each and assorted materials including bookmarks and posters to promote the programs.  The $750 project funds received by each of the three Ripley County libraries can be used for a variety of purposes, including to book speakers or host community events.  Jean Thompson’s 2011 novel offers a sweeping, multigenerational look at life in the Midwest over the past several decades.  The story follows the Erickson family through the many changes affecting American life at the end of the 20th century and asks readers to consider the enduring, uniting power of place – why we choose to leave and when we decide to come home.

“Indiana Humanities is in the midst of a two-year initiative encouraging Hoosiers to read, think and talk about urban and rural differences and dynamics,” said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities.  “We think ‘The Year We Left Home’ will resonate with Hoosiers, and spark conversations about Midwestern life today and our relationships to the places we call home.”

The three libraries in conjunction with the Ripley County Tourism Bureau are in the process of planning events and programs for this statewide reading program.  Events are scheduled to take place in the September / October 2020 time frame.  Tentative plans include a book discussion and speaker at each library.  In addition, the Community Partners have been approached about hosting a very special speaker event and hope to have an exciting announcement at a later date.  Updated information will be posted on www.ripleycountyreads.org or follow us on Facebook for the latest event information.