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One Book

Website for the RVCC One Book Community-wide Read.

What is One Book?

from the American Library Association's One Book planning guide...

Whether it’s called a city-wide book club, a state-wide reading campaign, “If All of Seattle Read the Same Book,” or “One Book, One City,” communities of all shapes and sizes are adopting the concept originated by the Washington Center for the Book: people coming together through the reading and discussion of a common book. Since 1998, when the Washington Center for the Book hosted author Russell Banks for four days of programs and discussion about his novel, The Sweet Hereafter, communities all over the United States have increasingly embraced the notion of civic unity through the reading of literature. There are now statewide, citywide, countywide, and event country-wide reading programs all over the world. This resource guide is designed for program directors—the people who will guide the project from start to finish. This guide presents a number of different models for communities to follow and resources for developing a program tailored to your community.

What Is a Community-Wide Read?

“The idea is that the city that opens the same book closes it in greater harmony.” — Mary McGrory, The Washington Post, March 17, 2002 “People can go for days at a time not talking to anyone outside their immediate family. There are precious few opportunities for people of different ethnic background, economic levels or ages to sit down together and discuss ideas that are important to them this project provides that opportunity.” — Nancy Pearl, Director, Washington Center for the Book “This program is a wonderful opportunity to bring individuals together in the community through a shared reading experience. It is certain to enrich the lives of those who participate.” — Bill Bogaard, Mayor, Pasadena, California “I wanted the community to connect, and I wanted a way for us to talk about something shared…it’s a great conversation starter.” — Gus Garcia, Mayor, Austin, Texas, commenting on the Austin Public Library’s “The Mayor’s Book Club” All of these reading initiatives share a number of commonalities, ranging from the concept’s populist appeal, its new approach to a basic reading and discussion model, and its ability to create a shared experience of reading among a wide spectrum of people. 

What does this mean at RVCC?

At RVCC we form a committee that chooses the One Book almost a year in advance.  We then make sure the book is available - either free or via purchase - to as many people as possible.  We then throw a year-long party on this book including events, discussions, panels, or anything else you can imagine.  Interesting in joining the committee?  Contact Megan Dempsey at megan.dempsey@raritanval.edu