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One City, One Book at NHLA

Readers in communities throughout the country have been brought together through "One City, One Book" projects since the first of these projects was launched in Seattle in 1998. Several New Hampshire libraries have developed "one book" programs in their communities and these will be the focus of a panel discussion, sponsored by the NH Center for the Book, to be held at the Fall 2005 Conference of the New Hampshire Library Association . The discussion will focus on how these programs have worked in the Granite State and what you should consider when planning a similar program for your community. The panel will be moderated by Mary Russell, Director of the NH Center for the Book, and will include:

Robbin Bailey, Reference Librarian, Concord Public Library

Elizabeth Levy, Director, Hopkinton Town Library

Kristin Cooper Rainey, Director, Madbury Public Library

David Scannell, ADA Coordinator/Community Relations Coordinator, Manchester School District


The Center for the Book in the Library of Congress maintains a state-by-state listing of past and current "one book" projects, including a listing sorted by author.

The original "One City, One Book" project was "If All of Seattle Read the Same Book" organized by the Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library. It was the idea of Nancy Pearl and continues annually as Seattle Reads.

The American Library Association's Public Programs Office has made the One Book, One Community planning guide available for free in pdf format. They also sell an electronic resource kit through the ALA store.

"Reading The Grapes of Wrath" was coordinated by the California Council for the Humanities, and was the first state-wide "One Book" project.

Publisher's web sites may also provide helpful "One Book" resources. For example, Harper Collins has put together a community reading program resource guide.


Van Dyke, Debby. "Building A Community of Readers: A One Book Program." Library Media Connection, February 2005, p. 20-22.

Rosen, Judith. "Many Cities, Many Picks." Publishers Weekly, March 10, 2003, p. 19-23.

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