What is One Book?
were reading the same book at the same time?
This 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 make new friends and acquaintances within their community, and develop new bonds as they talk about “the book” in grocery checkout lines and gas stations as well as in more organized settings. They also gain new appreciation for libraries as significant community conveners and leaders. Libraries often form new partnerships with local groups and businesses.
A growing number of Maine libraries and other organizations have organized One Book programs, and they have a wealth of information and experience to share. This web site, created by the Maine Humanities Council, is intended to offer inspiration and support to community organizations interested in organizing their own One Book programs. The material in this web site has been collected primarily from One Book organizers. There are also links to other helpful sources of information.
We hope that the wide variety of programs shown here will inspire you to launch a One Book: One Community program of your own! As you will see when you read through the descriptions of Maine Programs, they are as varied as the communities and libraries themselves — in terms of budget and the complexity of the events offered. There are no hard and fast rules, no “one” way to do this; the most successful program is the one that suits its community!
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; along with contact information for detailed follow-up.
In addition to descriptions of Maine One Book programs, you will find:
- a list of books that have been read in One Book programs in Maine;
- suggestions on the book selection process;
- tips on how to create your own program, from putting together a planning team, creating a timeline and a budget and doing community outreach to evaluating your program;
- a sample materials section featuring photographs of flyers, bookmarks, posters, and other promotional material, as well as press releases, calendars, photographs, and sample giveaways from Maine One Book events;
- useful links to national One Book websites; and
- a submissions section, which invites you to share information about your community’s One Book program
- a calendar of One Book events and activities statewide.
We count on you to help us keep this up to date.