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Our Town Iowa City - A Good Read

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IOWA CITY - The Johnson County community is probably best known for the University of Iowa, but there are plenty of other efforts to promote education in the community. Home to the University of Iowa, Iowa City is known for the education levels and literacy rates of its citizens. The reason, literacy is everywhere. Let's take a look at what the city is doing to promote literacy, even on the sidewalks.

This bus is taking its passengers on an adventure. It's an adventure to the Iowa City Public Library, and for those who enjoy reading, a library card is just the ticket to get there.

"We know there are a lot of children in our community who simply don't have the transportation to get to the public library," said Susan Craig, Iowa City Public Library.

And to solve their problem, buses were the answer.

"So we sort of turned that around and said we have a great downtown library in Iowa City, we have a great transit system lets put the two of them together and bring the kids to us," said Craig.

The buses run on non-peak transit hours. Schools worked with the library to target title one school in the area. Now buses are not the only thing driving people to read in Iowa City. At the Prairie Lights books store you can do more than just read about the authors, you can meet them in person.

"Authors range from people who have just graduated from the workshop to big names such as Michael Cuningham, tonight we have a British author," said Julie Englander, WSUI.

Iowa public radio, WSUI partnered with the book store and started recording live readings in 1991. Readings are broadcast and available on-line.

"So it's a great privilege to be able to come here and meet with the people who run this great store that's hugely supportive of new writers and to read and be able to get that reading out to an audience here in America that I would not be able to talk to," said Clare Clark, British author.

"Live From Prairie Lights," was the first public radio program to broadcast readings in this type of format.

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