Celebrating Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury speaks to the crowd at the Palms-Rancho branch library, [1972]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
A closeup view of author Ray Bradbury taken at the Palms-Rancho branch library, [1972]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Author Ray Bradbury speaks to a crowd at the Palms-Rancho branch library, [1972]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Ray Bradbury talks to a crowd at the Palms-Rancho branch library, [1972]. Security Pacific National Bank Collection
Los Angeles Mayor Kenneth Hahn, Ray Bradbury, City Librarian Susan Kent and Johnny Grant stand around Bradbury’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, [2002]. Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection
Ray Bradbury, Forrest Ackerman and Ray Harryhausen of the Science Fiction Club at Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles, [1999]. Los Angeles Photographers Photo Collection

First Annual Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon

A Daylong Reading of Fahrenheit 451 on August 22, 2020
The 100th Anniversary of Ray Bradbury’s Birth

Ray Bradbury’s contribution to the literary landscape and our collective imagination made him one of the best-known writers of our time. As a master storyteller, champion of creative freedom, and space-age visionary, he has been embraced by millions across many generations and all walks of life. He also loved libraries, and they continue to love him back. Celebrate this giant of American letters on the 100th anniversary of his birth with the First Annual Ray Bradbury Read-A-Thon.

On August 22, 2020, readers young and old from across the nation will gather by their computers, tablets, and phones to participate in a virtual reading of Bradbury’s beloved novel Fahrenheit 451, streaming over YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram Live (platform to be confirmed). The event is hosted by the Los Angeles Public Library, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and the Library of Congress, in collaboration with public and university libraries nationwide in honor of the Ray Bradbury Centennial.

Books were only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things, we were afraid we might forget. There is nothing magical in them, at all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us.

– Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

How will it work?

A total of around 40 readers will pre-record a short segment of the book (under ten minutes each). The readers will rehearse their assigned portions in advance and receive technical support and direction. Each segment will be professionally edited into one continuous reading lasting approximately six hours. The final edited show will include an introduction by the head of a prominent library, closing commentary by a well-known writer, music, graphics, and other elements.

Who will be reading?

The collection of on-camera readers will be as diverse as America itself, and selected by the participating libraries and institutions. For example, the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards will choose their readers from past award winners. Some librarians have already asked to read, themselves. A few surprise celebrity guests will be sprinkled throughout.

Where will the recordings take place?

Everywhere! Some readers will record from their homes, others from their hometown libraries—or from locations where Bradbury himself lived, worked, and explored. Locations will include the historic rooms of the Los Angeles Public Library, the Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and the Waukegan Historical Society, which is housed in the former Carnegie Library Building where Bradbury spent much of his childhood lost in books.

How will it be broadcast?

The First Annual Ray Bradbury Read-a-Thon will be streamed on August 22, 2020, via YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram Live. It will be made available simultaneously to all participating libraries and institutions to stream over their own channels. After its debut, the show will remain available online to watch any time of the day until September 5th, 2020.

Without libraries what have we? We have no past and no future.

– Ray Bradbury

Palms-Rancho Park Library: Ray Bradbury Centennial Celebrations

The Palms-Rancho Park Branch Library is also celebrating the centennial birthday of Ray Bradbury with a bookmark contest, graphic novels/comic book creation, and discussions. Join us as we recognize his long legacy of storytelling and library advocacy, August 22 - 29, 2020.