Updated: Dec 4, 2018
POSTED BY: MATT HIRST NOVEMBER 29, 2018
Local authors were encouraged to share their published works with the community during the Grand Prairie Public Libraries’ 2nd annual Author’s Expo on Saturday, Nov. 17. Beside the book signings, readings, and insider book talks, there was an abundance of entertainment available with food trucks, raffles, face painting, and even mini-horse rides.
“We have a whole bunch of authors who are local, who all wanted to hold their individual events, but we couldn’t accommodate everybody. So I was like, ‘Why not just toss them all together in one big showroom-style thing?’” said Aerial Hobson, outreach coordinator for Grand Prairie Public Libraries. “Last year there was some trial and error. Then this year, I kind of let them steer the show.
“The hope is that it will continue to grow and blossom like the ones happening in Irving and Denton. We open up for authors to apply in March. They send us a synopsis of their book and their photo, then a committee goes through and picks people. Next year, there will be a table fee which will go to fund our Friends of the Grand Prairie Library scholarship for high school seniors and volunteers.”
“My concern is that, as a group, and statistics have pointed this out, we are not as a literate as we should be. I’m talking about Latinos, Chicanos,” said Richard J. Gonzales, author of Raza Rising: Chicanos in North Texas. “If you don’t have that basic understanding of reading and writing, you’re going to have trouble in all your subjects. I don’t care if you’re a math whiz, you still have to be able to understand and read the basics of why you’re doing arithmetic and higher level math. The first and foremost obstacle Latinos need to conquer is to master literacy.
“High school retention is getting better, but the next challenge is keeping them in the college, because you see so many dropping out of college. There’s a lot of different reasons for that. One is they don’t have the money.”
The importance of literacy rates and educational amenities to the public cannot be understated.
“This is inspiring, because my book was actually written here in this library.” said Tanaya François Wright, principal at C4! Enterprise and author. “Going through some very, very traumatic experiences in my life, I actually persevered through them here in this library.
“I’ve met great people just with the expo alone. I’ve received a bunch of insight about what the process is and what the understanding is.
“It’s a beautiful atmosphere, it’s a beautiful environment, and it does provide so much for those who wouldn’t otherwise have it. You can see the individuals who walk in here on a daily basis, and some of them don’t have anywhere to go. I was that person at one point in time.”