Groups join effort for reading festival

Day may include book signings, author readings

Plans for an all-day reading festival in 2007 are gaining steam as partners from four Lawrence organizations have agreed to come aboard.

“It shows that it is a collaborative community effort. The organizations are stepping forward and providing staff to get involved,” said Kassie Edwards, an Altrusa Club member.

The Lawrence club promotes literacy, and for the last several months it has worked to launch the first River City Reading Festival sometime in October 2007.

While planning continues, Edwards has said the festival could include book signings, author readings, storytelling acts, book sales, workshops, food vendors and an Altrusa Community Literacy Award.

Within the past month, Haskell Indian Nations University, Kansas University Libraries, the KU Center for Teaching and Leadership and the Lawrence Arts Center have joined the effort. Earlier, Lawrence Public Library, the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Lawrence school district signed on.

At a meeting Thursday, group members formed subcommittees that will begin working on different areas of the festival. Their ideas will help shape the event, Edwards said.

“It’s about becoming the event that we’ve talked about for a year, but now it’s filling in those blanks and those events with the leaders from the other organizations,” she said.