Merced County Times Newspaper
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New Author Series coming to local public libraries


An exciting new program, the Winter/Spring 2020 Author Series, is anticipated to attract new audiences to the Merced County Public Library branches.

Robert Dawson

The first event in the series will be author/photographer Robert Dawson’s visit to the Merced branch on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m.

The Dawson event was organized by the library and UC Merced, and it is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Merced County Library and others.

Dawson wrote The Public Library: A Photographic Essay.

When creating this work, he spent 18 years traveling the nation and documenting hundreds of endangered public libraries. His photographs include those of the majestic reading room at the New York Public Library, as well as the one-room Tulare County Free Library found in Allensworth, California which was built by former slaves. Essays, letters, and poetry by some of America’s most celebrated writers enhance the masterpiece.

At the event, copies of The Public Library will be available for purchase by customers and signing by the author.

Along with Stephen Johnson and Gerald Haslam, Dawson wrote The Great Central Valley: California’s Heartland.

Through this book, the authors, all Central Valley natives, celebrate the tenacity of the Valley’s inhabitants who survive through hard work and ingenuity.

Another intriguing book Dawson wrote is The Spirit of the Horse: Photographs and Written Reflections of the American Horse.

Anthony Ray Hinton

Anthony Ray Hinton spent 30 years on Death Row in Alabama before he was exonerated and released. He wrote The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row. This work received national praise and was selected for the Oprah Winfrey Book Club.

The second event in the author series will be Hinton’s visit to the Merced library on April 28 in the late afternoon for a book signing. Hinton will be available for a discussion in the Gracey Room of the Merced branch afterwards, and at 7 p.m., he will give a talk at the Merced Theatre.

Prior to Hinton’s visit, the public library and UC Merced will give away 500 copies of his book free.  There will be a Common Read and faculty-led community discussions of the book at several library branches.

The remainder of the Author Series is still being planned. In May or June, a children’s author will visit the Atwater and Los Banos branches, and a lifestyle author will visit the Merced branch. These events will be organized by the Merced County library and by the Friends of the Merced County Library. Further details will be announced in the near future.

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