News Flash

Library Strategic Plan

Posted on: January 11, 2021

NEA Big Read - Irving Begins Jan. 23

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BR 2019 no NEA redo v.5_Square

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

NEA Big Read - Irving Begins Jan. 23

This winter the community will unite over another NEA Big Read, free books and great programs! The 2021 NEA Big Read – Irving runs from Jan. 23 to Feb. 27 and focuses on an amazing work of poetry, “A Small Story About the Sky” by famed poet Alberto Ríos. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


Alberto Ríos’s work “A Small Story About the Sky” tells of the beauty and mystery in everyday occurrences. Growing up in the high desert of southern Arizona, Ríos saw his fair share of poetic inspiration and change. Through reading, discussing and celebrating themes brought about in “A Small Story About the Sky” during the NEA Big Read ― Irving, the library hopes to create a better understanding and appreciation for poetry among residents and bring the community closer together. 


Free Books!

Free copies of A Small Story About the Sky will be available at the Drive-Thru Fiesta Kick-off Event at Senter Park on Jan. 23. Copies will also be distributed throughout the NEA Big Read timeframe at the South, West and Valley Ranch library locations beginning Monday, Jan. 25 while supplies last.


Explore these event highlights:

Visit the NEA Big Read – Irving website for more information about the book, a list of virtual events and virtual author visits for adults and teens, book clubs, virtual family programs, the Big Write Poetry contest and the Adult Winter Reading Challenge!


Jan. 23 | Kick-off Fiesta & Blackland Prairie Raptor Center

  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. | Drive-Thru Fiesta | Senter Park Recreation Center, 901 Senter Road

Join the library for a drive-thru fiesta experience. Pick up a gift box filled with rock painting craft supplies and collage construction paper, contest entry forms, NEA Big Read information and a free copy of the NEA Big Read title, “A Small Story About the Sky” by Alberto Ríos. Travis Middle School Mariachi and Mariachi Sol Azteca from Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy will perform on stage as well as volunteers reading poems from the book, with these performances amplified throughout the drive-through line.  


  • 2:30 p.m. | Blackland Prairie Raptor Center | Zoom

Community members can learn about the birds of prey that frequent North Texas and the American Southwest in this virtual program featuring live raptors. Email or message IPL Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for Zoom credentials.


7 p.m. Jan. 28 | Gardening With Less Water | Zoom

Dallas County Master Gardeners will present a virtual workshop on how to garden in the North Texas blackland prairie environment using water conservation techniques. Email or message IPL Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for Zoom credentials.



Slam Poetry Workshops | Limited to 20 Students each | on Zoom

  • 2:30 p.m. Jan 30 (designed for teens) 
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 6 (designed for adults)

Established poetry performers from Dallas Poetry Slam will lead participants in an interactive slam poetry workshop, developing participants’ original works. To register, email 


Workshop participants are invited to participate in a Poetry Slam Event at the Uptown Theater in Grand Prairie! Participants will perform original works of poetry onstage as a part of this recorded event, complete with a DJ and MC. Masks and social distance protocols will be incorporated. The recording will be shared on Irving Library's website, Facebook, and YouTube and on Grand Prairie Library's website and YouTube. Keep an eye on our NEA Big Read - Irving website for date more information. 

For questions, call (972) 721-4612 or contact us through, IPL Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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