Earlier this year, the Central Arkansas Library System introduced the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read, an ongoing series of activities centered around Tim O'Brien's novel "The Things They Carried." Recently, CALS has announced it's adding a weekly virtual film series that focuses on military stories to complement the novel. 

Here's a peek at what to expect:

  • Nov. 1: "Coming Home" (1978, R) 
  • Nov. 8: "Full Metal Jacket" (1987, R)
  • Nov. 15: "Hamburger Hill" (1987, R)
  • Nov. 22: "The Deer Hunter" (1978, R)

In partnership with UA Little Rock's Ottenheimer Library, the film series is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Once participants register for the screenings, they will receive an email with a link to access the film anytime on the scheduled day.

In addition to the film series, CALS will host O'Brien for an event called Writing War: A Conversation with Tim O'Brien. The author and Alex Vernon, associate professor of English at Hendrix College, will discuss their combat experience and how it's influenced their writing. The event will take place via Zoom on Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. 

“We are very excited to host Tim O’Brien and to explore his classic 'The Things They Carried' throughout the library system and beyond,” says Mark Christ, CALS adult programming coordinator. “As an institution, we strive to improve literacy and encourage the exchange of ideas, social engagement and cultural expression.”

CALS is one of 78 communities nationwide participating in the NEA Big Read in 2019 and 2020. For more info on the film series and the Writing War event, head to the CALS website

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