About the "One Book Chelmsford" Town-wide Reading Campaign:

In 2007, the Chelmsford Public Library initiated a community reading program with the help of a federal grant administered by the MA Board of Library Commissioners. Our "One Book" program, encourages everyone in the community to read the same book and share their experiences - through programs, lectures, activities and book discussion groups. This town-wide reading program promotes literacy by encouraging town residents to put down roots in the community, to feel like they are part of a larger entity, and by giving them a sense of belonging. A community reading program encourages people to connect in meaningful ways through literature. It also helps dispel the notion that the book is dying. As author and futurist Howard Rheingold says “The book remains one of the most robust, useful, and universal technologies ever invented.” A shared book experience has the power to bring communities together. We recognize the power of a story to transform the reader but the shared discussion of a story can move us even more. Watching a story unfold on television or the computer doesn’t give you the personal contact that sharing a book experience with friends and neighbors does. The simple pleasure of talking about a book is especially appreciated today when so many of us race through life at breakneck speed, never slowing enough to appreciate a much-needed laugh or the gift of a good story.

Similar reading campaigns take place across the nation and go by many names --''One Town, One Book," ''One Community, One Book," and ''On the Same Page." You can read more about this at the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress website: http://www.read.gov/resources/