Kirkwood-Iowa City Library joins inner-city consortium for guest speakers

CONTRIBUTED: In a new step this fall the Kirkwood-Iowa City Library is joining with other libraries in Johnson County to bring best-selling and award-winning authors to the county.  

The consortium, called Local Libraries LIT (listen, initiate, talk) is made up of the Kirkwood-Iowa City Library, the Iowa City Public Library, the Coralville Public Library, North Liberty Community Library and the University of Iowa libraries with the stated goal of growing a thriving community which shines with diversity, equity and inclusion by presenting diverse voices during free public programs. 

 Support for Kirkwood’s participation in this program comes in the form of a grant from the Kirkwood Foundation.  

Started in 2020, Local Libraries LIT has previously hosted talks with authors such as Mira Jacob (acclaimed for her fiction and her graphic memoir), Saeed Jones (an award-winning poet and memoirist whose work delves into issues of intimacy, race, and power), and Roxane Gay (novelist, essayist including the New York Times bestselling collection Bad Feminist, and memoirist including her daring and acclaimed book Hunger).  

As a co-sponsor of the consortium Library Coordinator David Strass hopes the Kirkwood-Iowa City Library will be able to connect these talks to students’ coursework and to events on the Iowa City Campus.  

The Kirkwood-Iowa City librarians will actively arrange for faculty who incorporate equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts in their classes to integrate Local Libraries LIT events into their class activities. This will be a wonderful opportunity for their students to engage directly with world-class writers and thought leaders.  

While past Local Libraries LIT events have been virtual, future speakers could be in person with a virtual component. The next event, with essayist and humorist Sloane Crosley, will be on Nov. 9, and will be a virtual event.  

Crosley is the author of the best-selling essay collections “I Was told There’d Be Cake and Look Alive Out There” and was featured in the Library of America’s “50 Funniest American Writers.” 

Local Libraries LIT will be holding future events this January and March with more information to follow. 

If students have any questions, please contact the Kirkwood-Iowa City Library at 887-3612.