One City/One Book Programs

The Center for the Book maintains a database of “One Book” programs by state and author that goes back to 2002.

Below are links to useful resources on program planning:

One Book, One Community Resource Guides (PDF and CD) give concrete information on planning a program, even providing budget worksheets. The CD includes digital art to use for creating posters and bookmarks.

Program by the National Endowment for the Arts, created in response to their 2004 “Reading at Risk” report. It offer grants to libraries and other non-profits for developing community-wide reading programs based on authors and poets in The Big Read Library.

Publisher Random House’s Library Marketing Department has created a resource guide, with tips by the guru of One Book programs, Nancy Pearl and list of suggested Random House titles.

Offers helpful tools, like a sample time-line and recommended HarperCollins titles.

As “One Book” programs mature, it is important to keep them vital. Two articles present some provocative thoughts on this subject:

  • Rocky Mountain News compares the One Book/One Denver experience to Seattle’s program, on goals, choice of titles, budget, programming and timing and comes up with suggestions to improve Denver’s program. A follow-up column, “One Book, So Many Opinions,” shows how difficult getting concensus can be.
  • Emily Cook, of Milkweed Editions, tells Publishers Weekly that communities need to “appeal to 15–34-year-olds…What would happen if Chuck Klosterman went to Grand Rapids, Minnesota? Fifteen-year-olds would have a different concept of literature; 25-year-olds would be excited to read and engage, rather than feeling bored or excluded because their community is reading To Kill a Mockingbird, a book they read in high school and remember somewhat vividly.”

Links to specific One Book sites:

Seattle Reads — the grandmother of them all

One Book, One Philadelphia

One Book, One Chicago

One City One Book San Francisco