Monday, September 08, 2008

One Book, One College: Common Reading Programs

Many colleges and universities across the U.S. have implemented reading programs for which students, faculty, and staff all read the same book--fiction, non-fiction, memoir, biography, history, science, classics, and bestsellers--a wide variety of categories. Sometimes called "Reading-in-Common," these programs involve people from all areas of the college in a dialogue about the selected material and enable interaction in ways that these groups might not have otherwise. (Read the results of one online survey of such programs.)

We have created a book display with books from the list compiled by Barbara Fister, librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. Visit the website that Barbara maintains at: to see a list with the names of the colleges and the books they selected. You might be interested in these choices, all of which are available for check-out from our library:
  • Clemson University: One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash
  • Howard Community College: Small Wonder by Barbara Kingsolver
  • LaGuardia Community College: An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore
  • Niagara University: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
  • Southern Mississippi: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Spokane Community College: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • University of Alaska: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • University of Tennessee, Knoxville: A Long Way Gone by Ismael Beah
  • York College: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

If you are interested in starting a similar reading program at Chattanooga State, add your comments to this blog or see one of the library staff. We will collect the names and contact information for those who would like to participate and plan a reading event for the spring semester.

Image credit to VJ Books.


Lori Warren said...

I've always wondered if universities abroad had such a program or gave their students a required reading selection.

What novels would they recommend for worldly enlightenment?

Is there a way to find out the most highly recommended books by country or continent?

Barbara said...

Way cool!

Lori Warren said...
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