September 5, 2008

Phoenix Public Library Celebrates The Big Read in September and October

Phoenix Public Library will celebrate The Big Read this September and October with a series of free events focused around this year's Big Read selection, "The Maltese Falcon" by Dashiell Hammett.

The Big Read kicks off with a free screening of the film version of Hammett's noir masterpiece 7 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St. A discussion will follow the screening. Tickets are required for admission. Free tickets are available at Phoenix Public Library and Maricopa County Library locations.

Other events include a discussion of the novel with Hammett scholar, Richard Layman, 7 p.m. Sept. 18, and a discussion of Hammett's life and McCarthy era experiences with Hammett's granddaughter, Julie Rivett, 7 p.m. Sept. 29. Both events will be at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave. A second screening of the classic film will take place at 7 p.m. Sept. 19 at South Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center, 7050 S. 24th St. For a complete schedule of Big Read events and book discussions visit or

The Phoenix Public Library Foundation received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to host The Big Read locally in partnership with West Valley Arts Council, Maricopa County Library District and Phoenix Art Museum.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and Arts Midwest. Launched nationally in 2006, The Big Read encourages reading by asking communities to come together to read and discuss a single book.

Phoenix Public Library is a system of 14 branch libraries and the Burton Barr Central Library. For more information, call 602-262-4636 or visit