by Lori Berezovsky Ι August 25, 2014
For two years now, Salina Public Library has formed a committee of community members and a couple of staff members and charged them with the task of picking one book for all of Salina to read. We start the process with a list of books that other libraries have chosen for this purpose, and start whittling from there. Even though this process can take up to six months to complete, it’s exciting. None of us know which book will end up being chosen, and I like that. Even at the end of the process, when the list has been winnowed down to four titles, we don’t know how it will go. This year was tough. When we all read the final four books, discussed them, thought about programming potential, and whether or not the book had universal appeal, I still didn’t know which one would emerge the winner. Last year the vote for the winner was unanimous, but that was not the case this year. There were some strong titles in the running, and after much discussion “The Worst Hard Time” by Timothy Egan was determined to be our Salina Reads book for 2014 by only a couple of votes.
I encourage you to check out a copy of the book and get drawn into 1930s Oklahoma, the epicenter of the Dust Bowl, where for 10 years, folks barely survived. The book looks at all of the elements that contributed to the perfect storm that was the Dust Bowl, such as the invention of the tractor, government involvement in farming, the drought, and more. It is a book that is written clearly and pulls together all of the disparate things that contributed to this natural disaster.
Throughout September and October, the library will offer special book discussions on “The Worst Hard Time”, host experts and other programs that have a connection to our Dust Bowl theme. You can see the entire schedule of events on the library’s website. And don’t forget to start the program off with a bang on September 6 from 2-4 p.m. at the Salina Reads Kickoff! Amidst entertainment and cookies, you will be able to sign up to serve on the 2015 book selection committee.
Salina Reads is for you. Connections are made and bonds are strengthened when we get get together with others and discuss a book and ideas that go along with it. This year, the library made some connections by partnering with the Smoky Hill Museum, Altrusa International, and the Salina Art Center Cinema to bring you the best programs and events possible.
See you at the library!
Lori Berezovsky is the library’s Outreach Coordinator.