2018 Great Read program honors Dr. King’s life, legacy

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died April 4, 1968.

Yet even 50 years later, it is nearly impossible to calculate the immense impact of Dr. King’s Civil Rights activism, social and cultural leadership, and commitment to peace.

The 2018 Great Read community literacy program will honor Dr. King’s life and legacy with a series of programs and special events in February.

The Great Read is a consortium of public and private organizations promoting literacy, reading, conversation, and community in Plainfield and surrounding southwest suburban partner communities since 2004.


  • The 2018 Great Read Opening Gala will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the at the White Oak Library in Romeoville, 201 W. Normantown Road. Admission is free
  • Renowned professional storyteller Linda Gorham will introduce listeners to “Martin,” a young boy growing up in the South, who would one day become the most visible spokesperson of the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Light Refreshments will be available.
  • Artists of all ages in participating communities are invited and encouraged to enter the 2018 Great Read Art Contest.
  • Enter at your local library where you could win in one of three age groups from pre-kindergarten to adult.
  • Local winners in each group will move on to the final contest to compete for $50 Barnes & Noble gift cards. 
  • Detailed information and entry forms are available on the Great Read web site ( and at participating libraries.
  • The 2018 Great Read Grand Finale will be held from 6-8 p.m. February 28, 2018 at the Joliet Public Library/Black Road branch, 3395 Black Road, Joliet. Admission is free.
  • Chicago musician and educator Maggie Brown who will perform Civil Rights-era music as part of a program titled “Legacy – Our Wealth of Music.”
  • 2018 Great Read Art Contest winners will be announced, and prizes awarded.
  • Refreshments will be available.
  • Books will be given to attendees.

In Dr. King’s spirit of giving and peace, please bring canned goods or supplies to the Kickoff and/or Finale events to benefit Bags of Hope, Morningstar Mission of Joliet and St. John Food Pantry. Please visit  for a list of needed supplies and more information.

Throughout February, community members can also take part in a long list of Great Read-related programs and special activities at the Great Read’s participating libraries. Program information is posted on the Great Read website.


The 2018 Great Read is proudly presented by: the Plainfield School District 202; the Plainfield, Fountaindale, Joliet, Lemont, and White Oak public libraries; Joliet Junior College; Plainfield Township; and the Joliet Barnes and Noble store.

The 2018 Great Read is also supported by generous grants and in-kind donations from the Plainfield Foundation for Excellence, the Friends of the Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield Township, the Joliet Barnes & Noble, Voyager Media, WDCB Jazz Radio (90.9 FM) and participating libraries.

Please see The Great Read web site for more information about this year’s program: