The Big Read is a cooperative project of local libraries seeking to connect communities through literature. The Big Read encourages patrons at the libraries to read the same book with the goal of promoting reading, sparking discussion, and building community.

The Speer Memorial Library is offering The Big Read to their patrons. Take part in The Big Read by visiting the library to obtain on how to participate in a book discussion to be held on March 12 at 6 p.m. at the library.

Bless Me, Ultima is a novel by Rudolfo Anaya, published in 1972 set in the small town of Guadalupe, New Mexico during World War II. The novel follows the story of Antonio M√°rez, a young boy who meets a curandera named Ultima. The main plotline involves Ultima's struggle to stop the witchcraft of the three daughters of Tenorio Trementina, the main villain. In the story Antonio, who is witness to several deaths, is forced to deal with religious and moral issues.

The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Arts Midwest. The purpose of The Big Read is to revitalize the role of literature in American popular culture. Modeled on successful "one book, one community" programs, the Big Read was created to address the national decline in literary reading as documented in the NEA's 2004 landmark survey Reading at Risk: A Survey of Literary Reading in America. The survey showed that less than half the American adult population now reads literature.

Interested individuals may contact Mayra Rocha, Assistant Library Director, at the Circulation Department or via email at mayra@mission.lib.tx.us.

Speer Memorial Library is located at 801 E. 12th Street (corner of 12th and Kika De La Garza Loop) in Mission. The library is open (except for Holidays) Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. till 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. and from 12:00 p.m. till 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Library's homepage can be accessed for information via the Internet by entering www.mission.lib.tx.us.

All activities are free and the public is invited to attend. For more information contact the circulation department at 956-580-8750.