Xavier University of Louisiana, in partnership with the New Orleans Public Library, has been awarded a grant to host The Big Read in New Orleans. The Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to restore reading to the center of American culture. Xavier and NOPL were one of 76 not-for-profits to be recommended for a grant to host a Big Read project between September 2011 and June 2012. The Big Read in New Orleans focuses on A Lesson Before Dying by Louisiana native Ernest J. Gaines.

All activities will take place February 23 and March 23, 2013. For a calendar of events, visit the Events page. For information about the special, on-going projects, visit the Projects page. For information about the essay contests for junior and senior high school students, visit the Contests page.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jason Todd at (504) 520-5292 or send an email to

Caricature of Ernest Gaines