Past Programs | One Book, One Community


Lizz Sinclair
Director of Programs
(207) 773-5051


Archived Program

Past Programs | One Book, One Community

What would happen if everyone in town were reading the same book at the same time?

Woman reading bookThis question was first posed by the Seattle Public Library with the 1998 Seattle Reads program. The answer caught the imagination of towns, cities and states across the country, and since then, communities from California to Maine have discovered the power and pleasure of reading and discussing a single book. Participants made new friends and acquaintances within their community, and developed new bonds as they talk about “the book” in grocery checkout lines and gas stations as well as in more organized settings. They also gained new appreciation for libraries as significant community conveners and leaders. Libraries often formed new partnerships with local groups and businesses.

Many Maine libraries and other organizations organized One Book programs, and they have a wealth of information and experience to share. While every One Book program is different, all require thoughtful planning, preparation, and (at least modest) funding. Ideas and suggestions on getting started, title selection, logistics, programming, funding and marketing, are all presented here as starting points.

 “One Book: One Community programs are such effective ways to build community spirit, to encourage reading across generations and to have fun.”– Former First Lady Karen Baldacci