‘On the Road’ with the American Library in Paris

‘On the Road’ with the American Library in Paris

The American Library in Paris has announced the launch of a new cultural outreach programme sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in France dubbed On the Road after the popular novel by Jack Kerouac.

Over the summer and fall of 2022, American Library staff will go “on the road” on a library pop-up tour. Travelling to locations throughout the Île-de-France and Hauts-de-France regions in partnership with libraries, museums, and centers for higher learning, the librarians will bring library activities and tools for people of all ages in both urban and rural areas.

The American Library in Paris

The American Library in Paris © CVB at Wikimedia Commons

At the June 27 inauguration event, the French patron of On the Road, author Rachid Santaki, presided over a giant dictation (or dictée) with guests and journalists. Santaki is known as the founder of “La dictée géante”, a gathering where people from all generations and upbringings are united by the love for the French language.

On the Road began Friday, July 1 in the Hauts-de-France region at the Bibliothèque de l’Agglomération de Saint-Omer (Pas-de-Calais), kicking off with a public discussion about disinformation with American journalist Cole Stangler. The Saturday sessions included archival exhibits, bilingual story hours, and hands-on demonstrations of digital resources.

Saint-Omer Library

Saint-Omer Library © Jacques Rocquet

The On the Road tour stops will last two days and feature different American authors discussing a broad range of current issues with local public audiences. The topics will range from shared democratic values to climate change. Library Director Audrey Chapuis explains, “One of the goals of the programme is to extend the reach of the Library to new audiences, and beyond that, to create a shared sense of community among diverse participants. Everyone is welcome.”

Mark Toner, Minister Counselor for Public Diplomacy at the U.S. Embassy in Paris, adds, “The Embassy is extremely proud of the strong ties we have with the American Library, and we are delighted to support this programme which fosters inter-cultural experiences and showcases the innovative ways libraries are serving their communities in both France and the United States.”

Calendar of Events

Saint-Omer: July 1-2

Le Blanc-Mesnil: July 8-9

Savigny-le-Temple: July 21-22

Evry-Courcouronnes: September 28-29

Lille: November 7-8

Amiens: November 25-26

Airion: December 8-9

Blérancourt: Fall

For more information, go to the American Library in Paris website.

Lead photo credit : On The Road Poster © US Embassy France Instagram

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A native of Los Angeles, Barbara is the France Today Ambassador for L.A. She graduated from UCLA with a BA degree in Political Science, and also received her JD degree from UCLA School of Law. While at UCLA, she spent her junior year in Grenoble, France. From that time on, she has been an avid and passionate Francophile. She has visited almost every region in France, and still pursues French language courses in Los Angeles. She has an apartment in Paris and continues to visit France every year.

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