Augusta County Library has joined forces with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities to offer Talking Service, a reading and discussion program for veterans and their families. The program begins in mid-September with the loan of a book to read and will culminate with an interactive discussion at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 7 in the Fishersville Library.
During the book discussion, participants will share their reaction to readings from the book Standing Down: From Warrior to Civilian. This book is a collection of fiction, poems, essays and personal accounts about serving in the military and transitioning back to civilian life, ranging from historic times to the modern day. Standing Down was created by The Great Books Foundation to serve as jumping off point for veterans to reflect on their own experiences in the military and returning home.
Daza Craig, librarian, was interested in bringing this program to Augusta County because of her personal experience traveling around the world as a military wife. Craig says, “Our life experiences shape the way we react to both written materials and life in general. This is a wonderful opportunity for veterans to interact with others who have had similar experiences while in the welcoming and supportive setting of the public library.”
Talking Service is part of a national initiative by the Great Books Foundation and state humanities councils to offer veterans the opportunity to reflect on their service and talk openly about their challenges and future aspirations. It is funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities Standing Together initiative, which encourages humanities programs that focus on the history, experience, or meaning of war and military service. The Great Books Foundation donated copies of Standing Down to state humanities councils, who in turn loan the books and provide a facilitator honorarium to participating groups in their states.
Talking Service is free and open to past and present members of the Armed Forces and their families and friends. Copies of the book Standing Down may be borrowed through Fishersville Library or requested at any Augusta County Library location. For more information about the program and how to participate, please contact the Augusta County Library in at 540-885-3961 or540-949-6354 or www.AugustaCountyLibrary.org. The library is located at 1759 Jefferson Hwy. in Fishersville.
About The Great Books Foundation: The Great Books Foundation is an independent, nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to empower readers of all ages to become more reflective thinkers through the discussion of written works and ideas of enduring value. It advances this purpose by promoting Shared Inquiry™ discussion and by publishing materials and sponsoring events that support this practice. www.greatbooks.org.
About the National Endowment for the Humanities: Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.