Begun in 1996 in Seattle, Washington, the One Book, One Communityconcept was developed to build a sense of community while promoting literacy and a culture of open discussion. ACLA joined the nationwide initiative in 2003 with Harper Lee’s classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Each year is unique for One Book, One Community, as each book selection lends itself to new themes and programming opportunities. Discussions have ranged from homelessness to intergenerational friendships to the future of our society. Featured titles have included The Glass Castle by Jeanette Winters; The Giver by Lois Lowry; A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson; and People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. Essay contests, book discussions, and library and museum festivities engage the community and encourage citizens to connect ‘page by page.’
The art of direct, face-to-face conversation among diverse, interesting individuals is in danger of becoming a lost art. To this end, Conversation Salons are informal forums in which library patrons are invited to participate in meaningful discussion of current events, social and cultural issues, entertainment, and more. Run by volunteers trained in the art of conversation facilitation, Conversation Salons are held once a month at various ACLA libraries and open to all adults.
Formerly known as PALS Book Clubs, Reading Social and Teen Reads for Everyone are countywide book clubs that engage teens and adults of all ages in stimulating discussion of current and occasionally classic titles. Book selections are based on library and participant nominations whenever possible.
Each month, participating Reading Social libraries receive 12 copies of a title, four of which are large print when available, and one audiobook when available. Books vary in theme from nonfiction to historical fiction to short story collections. Book clubs are open to adults of all ages, and are held in ACLA libraries as well as senior centers.
Teen Reads for Everyone participating libraries also receive 12 copies of a title, which may include graphic novels, science fiction selections, nonfiction titles, and more. Teen Reads for Everyone book clubs engage teens as well as adults in select ACLA libraries.
Established in 2007, Wise Walk is a healthy lifestyle program for individuals 50 and older. The program is coordinated through over 70 library locations around the county and is offered biannually (Spring and Fall), serving an average of 1,000 walkers each year.
Wise Walk is about more than walking – it’s about healthy habits in all areas of life. By connecting participants with comprehensive resources such as books, the internet, videos and live research expertise that focus on health-related subjects they care most about including: healthcare options (ACA, care facilities, pharmacy and medicine information); nutrition choices; continuing education opportunities; and social well-being programs that focus on arts and cultural activities.