One Book, One Town @ Fairfield Public Library, CT
For its 10th year celebration, Fairfield Public Library’s One Book, One Town program selected not one, but two titles for participating patrons: Books for Living by William Schwalbe and A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston. These titles prompted readers young and old to examine their personal relationships with the books they read.
Fairfield Public Library’s Branch Reference Librarian Mary Coe says that the goal of the program’s selection is to get readers to venture into other genres and offer “an opportunity to grow and enrich their own reading experience.” William Schwalbe’s Books for Living details the impact of several books on his life by relating them to the universal experiences that come with growing up. Instead of more directly prompting participants to delve into a different text than they normally read, this reflection-inducing selection arguably enables readers to share with one another why they read, what they read to inspire one another to expand their tastes, and more importantly, get to know their fellow community members better through their varying literary interests.
Here are more general programming tips on how to ensure a good common read turnout from Mary Coe and her program co-chair, Claudia Silk, Library Associate of Reference and Tech Services:
- Include the author in the program whenever possible
- The selection committee needs to be diverse, but not too large
- Don’t be afraid to choose books that deal with challenging/controversial subjects
- Focus programs around the discussion of the book
- Engage community partners
Contributed by Ivana Petani