Home » General Assembly members pick a favorite book for campaign to encourage literacy

General Assembly members pick a favorite book for campaign to encourage literacy

Publisher sends out-of-print book picked by Gov. Bevin to 57 public libraries

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Feb. 8, 2016) — Kentucky READ posters featuring all members of the Kentucky General Assembly and constitutional officers were on display in the tunnel between the Capitol and the Annex buildings in Frankfort last week.

GovBevinREADpostersmEach of the 142 READ posters in the display features a photograph of one of Kentucky’s legislative or constitutional officials holding a favorite book. The Kentucky Public Library Association Advocacy Committee sponsored event celebrates literacy, the joy of reading and public libraries.

“We asked the participants to hold a book that they love and that has meaning for them. All of the members of the General Assembly as well as the state’s constitutional officers were eager to participate and show their support for reading and our public libraries,” said Paige Sexton, Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA) communications officer. “In fact, Kentucky has one of the highest numbers of officials who participate in the READ project.”

Gov. Matt Bevin and First Lady Glenna Bevin participated in the project, which was started in Kentucky in 2008. Gov. Bevin selected “The Blue Plaid Riders, or the Candy Shop Kidnapping” by Kentucky author Clay Lancaster, while the First Lady chose “The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions” edited by Arthur Bennett.

“Clay Lancaster is a nearly forgotten Kentucky gem. I chose one of the many children’s books that he wrote and illustrated to remind Kentuckians of his literacy contributions.” said Gov. Bevin. “This particular book is a favorite of all our children. The story line, the names of the characters, the colorful descriptions of tiny details, and the many plot twists make this an enjoyable read for young and old alike.”

Lancaster is known in Kentucky primarily for his architectural history, “Antebellum Architecture of Kentucky” (1991). He also published several children’s books, all featuring his own illustrations. Lancaster’s children’s books incorporate his interest in architecture, his love of animals, his delight in children’s toys, and his humanitarian nature.

“When I informed public libraries across Kentucky that The Blue Plaid Riders, or the Candy Shop Kidnapping was the governor’s choice for his READ poster, I discovered that the book was published in 1994 and no longer in print and apparently unavailable from any vendors who sell books to libraries,” said Sexton. “It was only available in three libraries worldwide, with Mercer County Public Library being the only library in Kentucky with a copy available for check-out.”

In response to Gov. Bevin’s choice, Warwick Publishing mailed out 90 copies of the book to 57 public libraries in Kentucky, said Jim Birchfield of Warwick Publishing.

“We are thrilled for so many citizens across the state to now have access to this book thanks to the state’s public libraries,” Warwick said. “I encourage parents to visit their public library and check-out this book. Take it home and read it out loud with your family. You will be glad you did.”

KDLA provides equitable access to quality library and information resources and services, as well as helps public agencies ensure that legislatively mandated documentation of government programs is created, efficiently maintained, and made accessible. For more information on KDLA resources, programs and services visit www.kdla.ky.gov or call 502-564-1753.

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