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Beyond the Big Read: Dig Deeper at the Dayton Metro Library

bigreadlogolinkAs families, friends and neighbors read and talk about Orphan Train, the community’s Big Read book, the Dayton Metro Library offers several opportunities to dig deeper into themes from the book.

From 1854-1929, thousands of orphaned and abandoned children were sent by train from New York to the Midwest with the hope of finding better lives. This little-known chapter of American history forms the basis for Orphan Train, which tells the story of an elderly woman’s past as one of these relocated children, and her unexpected friendship with a contemporary teen aging out of the foster care system.

“Orphan Train offers many interesting possibilities for programs and activities during the Big Read,” said Jennifer Spillman, co-chair of the Big Read committee. “It speaks to both teen and older readers alike. It deals with historical facts, cultural identity and the whims of fate.”

BIG READ PROGRAMS at the Dayton Metro Library:

Finding the Living or Deceased Using Genealogy Resources
Thursday, March 17, 6:30 p.m. Temporary Downtown Branch
Learn how to find lost loved ones using public records and the expertise of the Genealogy Librarian.

Story Slamm: “Orphaned”
Monday, March 28, 7:00 p.m. at Brixx Ice Company, 500 E. First St., Dayton
Presenters each tell a 10-minute story based on the theme “orphaned.” Come and participate or just enjoy the stories.

The Orphan Trains: A PBS "American Experience" Documentary
Monday, April 4, 7:00- 8:30 p.m. West Carrollton Branch
View this PBS documentary of the period 1853-1929 when the New York Children's Aid Society sent thousands of street children to live in rural communities in the American Midwest.

Life of Orphans in 2016
Thursday, April 7, 6:30 p.m. Temporary Downtown Branch
Learn about the history of St. Joseph Orphanage and how the organization works to build hope and strengthen lives.

Love Has No Boundaries
Monday, April 11, 7:00 p.m. Huber Heights Branch
Families share their life-changing stories about international adoption.

All Big Read programs are free and open to the public. For more information, visit or call (397) 463-BOOK.


Main Branch

215 E. Third St.
Dayton OH 45402


M, T, Th: 9:30 am - 8:30 pm
W, F: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:30 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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