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Snowden Library of Lycoming College was one of 30 libraries selected in the U.S. to receive a Louisa May Alcott grant from the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
With the grant, Snowden Library will hold readings, presentations and a screening focused on Louisa May Alcott's extraordinary life and work. The programs have been developed in conjunction with "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind 'Little Women,'" a documentary film co-produced by Nancy Porter Productions, Inc. and Thirteen/WNET New York's "American Masters," and a biography of the same name written by Harriet Reisen.
Alcott is recognized around the world for her novel "Little Women," but few know Alcott as the bold, compelling woman who secretly wrote sensational thrillers, lived at the center of the transcendentalist and abolitionist movements, and served as a Civil War army nurse. Snowden Library's upcoming programs present a story full of fresh insights about Alcott and a new understanding of American culture during her lifetime.
The first program in the series, "Who Is Louisa May Alcott?" will be held Thursday, Sept. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Andrew Leiter, Lycoming associate professor of English and Louisa May Alcott scholar partner, along with members of Lycoming's Women's and Gender Studies Program, will discuss the life of Alcott and read from her works in the Lowry Room, Welch Wing, of the James V. Brown Library.
On Thursday, Sept. 29, at 7:30 p.m., the award-winning documentary "Louisa May Alcott: The Woman Behind 'Little Women'" will be screened at Williamsport's Community Arts Center. Leiter will lead a discussion following the documentary.
On Friday, Oct. 7, at 12 p.m., The Friends of James V. Brown Library will host a Book Review Luncheon with Dr. Sarah L. Silkey, Lycoming assistant professor of history. Silkey will speak on women and reform in Alcott's world. To reserve a lunch, call 326-0536 by Oct. 5.
On Tuesday, Oct. 25, performer, poet and playwright Dr. Dorothy E. King, founder of PenOwl Productions Theater Company and assistant professor of sociology at Penn State Harrisburg, will give a talk titled "The Underground Railroad and its Williamsport Connection." This event, which takes place at 7 p.m. in the Pennsylvania College of Technology Klump Auditorium, is held in memory of Mamie Sweeting Diggs. Diggs was a respected local historian and a fourth generation descendant of Daniel Hughes, a conductor on the "Underground Railroad" in Lycoming County. She received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Lycoming in 2006.
On Wednesday, Nov. 2, at 4 p.m., "Anything and Everything Alcott will take place in the Lycoming College Archives. Dr. N.J. Stanley, Lycoming associate professor of theatre, and students in Alpha Psi Omega, the national honorary dramatic fraternity, will read from works by and about Alcott.
On Thursday, Nov. 3, at 12 p.m., the College's music department will present "Music in the World of Louisa May Alcott" as part of its noon concert series. The program will feature piano music by Beethoven and Gottschalk, parlor and minstrel songs by Stephen Foster, and spirituals performed by College students and faculty.
On Sunday, Nov. 6, at 2 p.m., Linda Estupinan Snook will present "Not Frail Flowers" at the Thomas T. Taber Museum. This program focuses on the contributions of six Pennsylvania nurses during the Civil War, as well as a discussion of the Victorian roles of women and the condition of soldier's lives in field and general hospitals.
A handmade quilt, on display at the James V. Brown Library, will be raffled at the conclusion of the series. Tickets are available at Brown library and all events. There will also be raffle before each event for Riesen's book, "Lousia May Alcott: the Woman Behind 'Little Women.'"
The Louisa May Alcott programs are sponsored by the American Library Association Public Programs Office with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Founded in 1812 and celebrating its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year, Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It offers 35 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News and World Report. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation. For more information, visit www.lycoming.edu.