Stillwater Public Library awarded grant from ALA, NEH to host Civil War reading/discussion series

lib civil war poster july  

Contact: Stacy DeLano, Stillwater Public Library
Phone: (405) 372-3633, ext. 124


(STILLWATER, OKLA / Aug. 1, 2012) — Stillwater Public Library will host a free five-part reading and discussion series called “Let’s Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War.” The library is one of 65 public libraries nationwide receiving grants to host the series developed by the American Library Association and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

“We are delighted to have been chosen to host this unique series that will allow patrons a chance to discuss the legacy of the Civil War with fellow community members and with the help of a well-qualified scholar,” said Lynda Reynolds, library director.  

Dr. James Huston will lead each of the discussions.  Huston, Regents Professor in OSU’s Department of History, received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois in 1980, specializing in nineteenth century economic and political history.  He subsequently was hired by Oklahoma State University and has been with the school ever since. He has published four books, three of which have won book awards, and nearly thirty articles.  He became a Regents Professor of History in 2005.

The group discussion events will be held Mondays at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Oct. 29 and Nov. 12.  The following materials will provide background for the discussions:

  •  “March” by Geraldine Brooks (Penguin, 2006)
  • “Crossroads of Freedom: Antietam” by James McPherson (Oxford University Press, 2002)
  • “America’s War: Talking About the  Civil War and Emancipation on Their 150th Anniversaries,” an anthology of historical fiction, speeches, diaries, memoirs, biography, and short stories, edited by national project scholar Edward L. Ayers and co-published by NEH and ALA.
  • “Making Sense of the Civil War” essay by Edward L. Ayers
Unlike other “Let’s Talk About It” series, the number of available book sets is limited to 25.  The sets will be distributed to the first 25 registrants who can commit to attending each of the five sessions.  Others who would like to participate may request the books through interlibrary loan for free or purchase the books.  Hastings is offering an educator’s discount for purchases of the books made at the local Stillwater store.  Hastings is located at 316 N. Main.

To register for the discussion series, please stop by the Stillwater Public Library’s Help Desk, call (405) 372-3633, ext. 106 or email

“Making Sense of the American Civil War” is a project of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association.  Additional support has been provided by the Oklahoma Humanities Council, Oklahoma State University Library, Friends of the Stillwater Public Library and KOSU.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. For more information, email the library at, call (405) 372-3633 or visit the website at