U.S. Bank Foundation supports "Let's Talk About It" program

photo of RickArdingerIHC_RobAravich-USBank_DianScott

The Idaho Commission for Libraries (ICfL) and the Idaho Humanities Council (IHC) thank U.S. Bank Foundation for its support of the 2013-2014 season of Let's Talk About It (LTAI), the library reading and discussion program that brings people together with scholars in mostly rural community libraries for discussions of books exploring a variety of themes. U.S. Bank Foundation has been a loyal supporter of community reading for many years.

The $7,500 U.S. Bank Foundation grant will help support the cost of new books, as well as support travel for Idaho college and university scholars to visit 16 libraries to speak about the books and help lead 75 discussions with library patrons. The program is a partnership of U.S. Bank Foundation, the IHC, and the ICfL. The ICfL has managed the program for nearly 30 years. Project Coordinator Dian Scott selects participating libraries, contracts with scholars, and ships multiple copies of books to the libraries.

“U.S. Bank Foundation is happy to support such a great program that brings people together all over Idaho to discuss books and ideas,” said U.S. Bank Senior Vice President Rob Aravich, of Boise, who presented a check at the Idaho Humanities Council office recently.

“This is a program that educates and builds community relationships, and it touches so many towns throughout Idaho,” Aravich said.

This year, the program will reach 16 libraries from Montpelier to Bonners Ferry. Each library will host five book discussions exploring different themes over the course of a season. Themes include “Idaho at 150,” “Living in the Modern West,” “Our Earth, Our Ethics,” “We Are What We Eat,” “American Characters,”and many other themes. Scholars from nearly all of Idaho’s institutions of higher education participate in the program as book discussion leaders in 75 library meetings.

Participating libraries in 2013-2014 include Ada Community Library (Boise), American Falls District Library, Bear Lake County Library (Montpelier), Blackfoot Public Library, Boundary County District Library (Bonners Ferry), Coeur d’Alene Public Library, DeMary Memorial Library (Rupert), Grangeville Centennial Library, Larsen-Sant Public Library (Preston), Lewiston City Library, McCall Public Library, Mountain Home Public Library, Portneuf District Library (Chubbuck), Salmon Public Library, Twin Falls Public Library, and Weiser Public Library.

The LTAI program, which began in 1985, was developed by the Idaho Commission for Libraries (formerly the Idaho State Library) and the Idaho Humanities Council. Over the past 28 years, programs have been held in nearly 100 Idaho communities.

Through good financial times and bad, the IHC, the Idaho Commission for Libraries, and U.S. Bank Foundation have continued their partnership to bring to mostly rural communities the opportunity for a rich cultural experience involving great literature, guest humanities scholars, and in-depth conversations on diverse topics. Program participants expand their reading interests, meet new people and explore important cultural issues in the context of their own lives and the lives of others.

Thanks to U.S. Bank Foundation’s generous support, the program continues reaching Idahoans of all ages through valuable reading and discussion.

“This LTAI program is an intellectual lifeline for many in rural communities where people are eager to meet face to face for a little thoughtful give-and-take about great literature,” said Rick Ardinger, director of the Idaho Humanities Council. “U.S. Bank Foundation’s support is critical to making the program happen. Participants are truly grateful for the program.”

For more information about Let’s Talk About It, see http://libraries.idaho.gov/landing/lets-talk-about-it.