SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - Rowan Public Library has been selected by the American Library Association (ALA) and WETA Washington, DC, to receive a programming kit for "The Vietnam War," a 10-part documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that began airing on PBS stations Sept. 17.
As part of the award, RPL Headquarters, located at 201 W. Fisher St., will host weekly screenings that include a moderated session on Wednesdays and a repeat of the week's featured episode on Saturday mornings. The first installment, "Déjà vu," will be shown at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 11, and 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. Both showings will be held in the Stanback Auditorium. Admission is free, and the screenings are open to the public. The documentary has a TV-MA rating and is intended for adults.
In "The Vietnam War," filmmakers Burns and Novick feature testimony from nearly 80 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides.
RPL is one of 50 U.S. public libraries and one of two N.C. public libraries selected to receive the kit through a peer-reviewed competitive application process. More than 350 libraries applied, according to ALA.
The award includes a copy of the 18-hour documentary series on DVD, with public performance rights; the companion book, "The Vietnam War: An Intimate History" by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns (Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House, 2017); a programming guide, promotional resources, partnership opportunities and more.
RPL will use the kit, designed to help libraries participate in a national conversation about one of the most consequential, divisive and controversial events in American history, to anchor a three-month programming arc that includes guest speakers, moderated discussions, and special programs and culminates in a Welcome Home event honoring area veterans on Saturday, Dec. 30.
The project is offered by the ALA Public Programs Office in partnership with WETA Washington, DC.