One Book, One Community – would it fly in NZ?

With NZ Book Month upon us, and various Writer’s festivals happening around the county over the coming summer months, this article in a recent issue of Library Journal might be of interest – One Great Idea, Library Journal, 9/1/2009, Vol. 134 Issue 14, p19-22.

(hint : we have electronic access to Library Journal so go a-hunting for a copy of it through our premium databases)

Beth Dempsey revisits the success of the ‘One Book, One Community’ programs that have flourished across America. It is based on the concept that one book is selected & subsequently championed by libraries, bookstores, book groups and cultural organizations for a set period of time.

Some of the titles that US regions have chosen include To Kill a Mockingbird, When the Emperor was Divine, Persepolis, and The Selfish Gene.

This concept isn’t a new idea, as I recall reading a while ago about a town in Germany doing something similar with Lois Lowry’s The Giver.

I’m thinking that for next year’s NZ Book Month, maybe we could aim some of our programming around this idea. Let’s identify a key NZ author or a key NZ title that might provoke interesting discussions, provide us with an author to champion for the month, and to boost people’s awareness and enjoyment of NZ literature.

What about Owen Marshall, Patricia Grace, Denis Dutton, Fiona Farrell, Kate de Goldi, Paula Morris, or Eleanor Catton?

We could look for a Cantabrian writer who might be able to attend during the month for some workshops, or perhaps someone from out of town who might fly down for the week or a weekend might enthuse our “readers about town”.

Involving local bookstores, book groups, university lecturers, publishers, the NZ Book Council would mean that we had a wider base to pull from in terms of support and funding. The online presence on our website, with blogs, forums, photos uploaded from the community would be a great way to grow our online presence as well.

It could be another way that CCL leads the pack when it comes to promoting reading and community involvement.

All ideas, comments and suggestions welcome!

Wikipedia article on One Book, One Community here.

2 thoughts on “One Book, One Community – would it fly in NZ?

    • mj October 12, 2009 / 5:36 am

      thanks Paul. I knew someone would know the techie way to access the article.

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