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Library Week: Friends of Library host author event

THE DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Alexis Smith (right), circulation clerk at the Lincoln County Public Library, checks out books for Jessica Smith Monday. Smith said she is a regular library patron, coming in once a week, and has had a library card since she was a child.

THE DAILY LEADER / RACHEL EIDE / Alexis Smith (right), circulation clerk at the Lincoln County Public Library, checks out books for Jessica Smith Monday. Smith said she is a regular library patron, coming in once a week, and has had a library card since she was a child.

Neil White, author of the acclaimed memoir, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts, will be the keynote speaker at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at this year’s kickoff event for National Library Week activities in Brookhaven. The program will be held in the Ole Towne Church (former First Presbyterian Church building).

Described by a USA Today reviewer as “a surprisingly gentle, sometimes hilarious memoir,” White’s book chronicles the year he spent in the last remaining lepers’ colony in the United States located in Carville, La. Published in 2009, the book was described by The Washington Post as “… an important glimpse into a dark and receding corner of our medical and penal history, as well as a fascinating personal story.”

Pam Womack, president of the Friends of the Lincoln County Public Library, which is staging the event to raise funds for the local library, said White “will be speaking to us about this fascinating experience and how it changed his life.

“The fundraiser is a way to hear from a Mississippi author and help enhance what the library has,” she continued. “It’s a great book and Neil will have books on sale for signing – they make great gifts.”

The Friends of the Library organization is hosting White’s presentation and a number of other activities during National Library Week to help raise funds and promote the local library.

Tickets for the Saturday evening event are $20 per person and include a champagne reception following the program. Seating is limited, Womack added. A limited number of sponsorships also are available at three levels: corporate, at $300; individual, at $200; and patron, at $100. Each sponsorship level includes tickets.

Corporate sponsorships include four tickets for the Saturday evening event plus two tickets for a Saturday luncheon with the author at the home of Kathy Behan. The $200 sponsorship includes two tickets to the evening event and two tickets to the luncheon. The $100 sponsorship includes two tickets for the evening event.

To purchase tickets, mail a check to Friends of the Library, 100 S. Jackson St., Brookhaven, MS, 39601. Make checks payable to Friends of the Library. The Friends organization is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to fund and promote the library, so gifts are tax-deductible.

For more information about tickets or sponsorships, those interested can email Nancy Hanks-Myers, Friends co-president, at modestyann@aol.com.