BIG Conversations at the Library: Current, Controversial Topics

On March 9, Richard Etulain, professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, will lead a local conversation titled “Lessons From Lincoln: Is Political Bipartisanship Possible?” It will be the first in the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library’s upcoming Big Conservations series.

The series is sponsored by the library and Oregon Humanities.  Current and controversial topics will be discussed once a month through June. Conversations include: “Your Land, My Land: Using and Preserving Oregon’s Natural Resources with Veronica Dujon” (April 20); “The Voters Have Spoken: Oregon’s Controversial Ballot Initiatives with Jackson Miller” (May 18); and “From Print to Pixels: The Act of Reading in the Digital Age with Mark Allen Cunningham” (June 8).

Bonnie Brzozowski, a local reference librarian, applied for a grant from Oregon Humanities to fund the program.

“In our current age there are a lot of people not willing to compromise and talk to one another,” Brzozowski said. She added that the library is hoping to provide a way for people to talk to each other and come to an understanding.

“It’s just to get people talking to each other,” she said, “Ideally people from different backgrounds, different walks of life, with different perspectives.”

This is the first year the library is holding the series, but Brzozowski said that she hopes it won’t be the last.

The first conversation with Etulain will explore Abraham Lincoln’s use of bipartisanship during the Civil War as a guide to dealing with current polarizing issues. It will be held on Saturday, March 9 at 2 p.m. in the main meeting room of the library.

For more information about each talk, visit the library’s online calendar at

by Lana Jones