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Tammie Collins, director of the Helen Keller Public Library, and Tuscumbia Mayor Kerry Underwood check out a copy of "Big Fish" during a Wednesday news conference at the library. "Big Fish" author Daniel Wallace will appear at the library on June 28. [BERNIE DELINSKI/TIMESDAILY]

TUSCUMBIA — Helen Keller Public Library Director Tammie Collins laughs when discussing the reaction she receives when she tells people who will be at this month's "Writers to Readers" program.

"'Really?' 'You're kidding.' 'That's huge,'" are responses Collins said she has heard regarding the event featuring "Big Fish" author and Alabama native Daniel Wallace.

The event is from 6:30 to 8 p.m. June 28 at the library.

Tickets are free but must be acquired in advance so organizers can get a head count. Tickets can be secured through, or by calling the library at 256-383-7065.

Don Noble, host of "Bookmark" on Alabama Public Television and English professor emeritus at the University of Alabama, will host the discussion.

"Big Fish," which was made into a major motion picture, is among six books Wallace has written.

Other books include "Ray in Reverse, "The Watermelon King," "Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician," "The Kings and Queens of Roam" and "Extraordinary Adventures."

He also wrote and illustrated the children's book "The Cat's Pajamas."

He is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina.

"There will be some time before the event when people can interact with Daniel and Don," Collins said. "We look forward to a wonderful evening with an outstanding and award-winning author."

This is the first year of the library's "Writers Readers" program, which is a monthly event that started in February and features an author each month. It also is a library outreach program with Deshler High School.

"They're not only presenting at the library, but they're also giving their time the following day at Deshler High School, and spending time with students over there talking about their experience in writing, the writing process and giving them pointers on how they can become better writers," Collins said. "This is our final program this season, and having it featured in the Helen Keller Festival shows the community support for reading in Tuscumbia."

She said she plans to continue the program in Spring 2020 and wants to work with area libraries to widen its scope.

Mayor Kerry Underwood said the event and overall "Writers to Reader" program are examples of an ongoing effort by library officials to connect the library with the public.

"Every library's objective is to be part of the community for the kids and adults," Underwood said. "This library has accomplished that in multiple ways. I also love the timing of this upcoming event coinciding with the Helen Keller Festival." or 256-740-5739. Twitter @TD_BDelinski


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